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Depression - Signs To Look For In A Person!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rahul Chandhok 91% (16 ratings)
M.D Psychiatry , MBBS
Psychiatrist, Faridabad  •  22 years experience
Depression - Signs To Look For In A Person!

Happiness and sadness are part and parcel of life. Some things make us smile while others make us cry. While life is full of mixed emotions, being persistently sad could be a sign of depression. It is a clinical condition that needs treatment just like a fever or any other sickness.

Depression is a common mental ailment that can affect children and adults of both sexes. This is characterized by a feeling of sadness, worthless and helplessness that lasts for more than 2 weeks. Other symptoms of depression include:

  1. Loss of interest in events and activities
  2. Social withdrawal
  3. Outbursts of irritation and frustration over small matters
  4. Sleep disturbances
  5. Tiredness
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  8. Shorter attention span
  9. Unexplained headaches or backaches

Though the exact cause of depression is still unknown, there are many factors that could trigger depression:

  1. Fluctuating hormones: This is a very common cause of depression. This may occur during pregnancy or after delivery.
  2. Thyroid problems and menopausePeople with thyroid issues and women going through menopause often face the problem of depression. In some cases, a change in how neurotransmitters behave inside the brain could cause depression.
  3. Genetics: It has been observed that 40% of depression cases have a genetic link. People with close relatives who suffer from depression may also suffer from the same condition.
  4. Traumatic events: People who have a traumatic past such as a history of physical or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one or a difficult relationship could also trigger depression.
  5. Alcohol and substance abuse: Excessive drinking and other substance abuse have been closely linked to depression.
  6. Other factors: Depression can begin at any age and men are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition as compared to women. This may be because women often seek help in the early stages of depression.

People with low self-esteem and a pessimistic outlook on life have a high risk of being depressed. Treatment for cancer, heart disease and other such chronic illnesses as well as certain types of medication could also contribute to depression. 

Symptoms of depression vary from one patient to another. Hence, they can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages. Treatment typically includes medication, counselling, group therapy and a change in lifestyle habits. For example, it is imperative for depression patients to step outside their comfort zone and interact with others. For this, they may consider joining a hobby class. Regular exercise is also important as it increases production of serotonin and gives the person an opportunity to get out of the house. When it comes to depression, remember, it is very important for the patient to be supported by family and friends.

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