Mental Health: Identifying The Signs Of Depression
- 23 Jan 2019
- #Mental Health
Depression is a common medical condition that affects the human mind. It is characterized by a sense of persistent sadness, a loss of interest in activities that one normally enjoys, and an inability to carry out everyday activities for at least two weeks at a stretch.
In 2018, the World Health Organisation identified India as the most depressed country in the world, followed by China and the USA. Furthermore, as per the National Mental Health Survey 2015-16, one in every six people in India needs mental health help of some sort. This means that depression is a lot more common than we think.
The term ‘depressed’ or ‘depression’ is often used casually by individuals to indicate a temporary onset of sad feelings or bad moods. However, depression is very different from usual mood fluctuations, the blues, or short-lived emotional hardships individuals tend to face in everyday life.
Depression is a long-lasting medical condition. It can last anywhere between a few weeks to a few years and can affect different people differently, with symptoms varying when it comes to severity. The condition can be extremely debilitating and can greatly impact a person’s ability to function at work, at school, or in the family.
While depression comes with a few noticeable signs, individuals affected may not always be able to identify these signs themselves. It is therefore important for each one of us, as family, friends, or work colleagues, to be sensitive and aware of the behaviour and habits of the people around us. The following signs can help us identify depression.
If left untreated, depression can cause risky behaviour, such as drinking, smoking or taking drugs in individuals. In extreme cases, it can also push individuals to commit suicide.
Keep in mind that the risk of depression is usually high when individuals face tough life situations such as unemployment, the death of a loved one, a relationship break-up, physical illness, or problems caused by alcohol and drug use.
Depression is very much treatable, but this treatment relies heavily on timely identification of symptoms. If any of the above-mentioned symptoms persist for more than two weeks, talk to your loved one and consider visiting a mental health specialist.
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