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Depression and Why You Should Seek Treatment for It

depression, signs of depression, effects of depression, symptoms of depression, anxiety, what is depression

What is Depression?

Depression is a common illness, and around 5% of the world’s population suffers from it. Though often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, the number of people experiencing this condition is only on the rise. According to the American Psychiatry Association, depression is a serious medical disease that affects how you feel, think and act. This mental health condition causes feelings of sadness and physical problems that reduce or impede one’s ability to work or function normally.

It is important to note that depression is different from mood changes or emotions that we experience in our daily lives. Severe cases of depression can lead to suicide, a leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds. Though depression is a treatable condition, over 75% of people in middle and low-income countries do not have access to appropriate treatment or specialists. Many others fail to seek care due to the stigma associated with mental health conditions.

There are different types of depression, the two most common ones being major depression and persistent depressive disorder.

depression, signs of depression, effects of depression, symptoms of depression, anxiety, what is depression

What are the Major Symptoms of Depression?

Depression presents with varying degrees of symptoms– from mild to severe. Major symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or dejected

  • Loss of interest in routine activities or activities that were once pleasurable

  • Changes in appetite

  • Loss or gain of weight

  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia

  • Increased fatigue

  • Persistent anxiety or feeling down

  • Pessimistic views or feeling hopeless

  • Failure to concentrate on work at hand

  • Feeling excessively guilty

  • Frequent thoughts of dying

  • Inability to make decisions

  • Frequent and chronic aches, pains, headaches and cramps

  • Digestive issues

Why Don’t People Seek Care for Depression?

Despite the seriousness of depression, the number of people who seek care for it is minuscule. Some common reasons for this behaviour in people are:

  • Fear of stigma or shame

One of the biggest reasons people do not opt for treatment or seek care from a mental health specialist is fear of stigma or shame. Mental health illnesses, unfortunately, are often looked down upon. Due to this reason, many people fear admitting to having depression and seeking care, which affects their personal and professional lives.

  • Lack of awareness

Many people fail to seek care because they are unaware of their issues. It is common for these people to minimise their depression to ‘stress’ or ‘something everyone faces or experiences’. Few people have never heard of or don’t know what depression is.

  • Inability to determine the condition

Some people do not pay attention to their symptoms and fail to determine something is wrong with them. They just go about their lives and do not pause to think about their feelings.

  • Inability to admit

It is very common to find depressed people who fail to admit or accept they are suffering from the condition. These people are challenging to manag