what is depression

What is Depression: Symptoms and Treatment

Depression is not mere state of mind. It is a mental health condition, which is marked by an overwhelming feeling of sorrow, isolation and despair. It is also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, and controls how a human being feels, thinks and functions. Psychologists believe that depression is a condition that can significantly interfere with the daily life of a person. Depression is not same as grief caused by a challenging life experience, such as the losing a loved one. It is a severe condition that can induce the thoughts of suicide as well.


People under depression most commonly experience a deep feeling of sadness or a marked loss of interest in daily activities. Other than that there are several symptoms that people with depression may experience. These may include:
  • Irritability, anxiety or distress
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Long hours of sleep or insomnia
  • Change in appetite and weight. Either eating less or too much
  • Weariness and lack of energy
  • Unexplainable crying
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches or body aches
  • Feeling miserable or insignificant
  • Resisting social situations and activities
  • Thoughts of death or suicide


Several people with depression don’t get medical help for their condition. Experts believe that major depression, if not treated, can lead to a series of social, emotional and health consequences, further adding to patients’ stress.

Treatments of depression may involve:

  1. MEDICATION: Prescription of drugs called antidepressants, can affect naturally occurring brain chemicals, thereby altering the mood. Antidepressants are of several types. Doctors to treat depression prefer to start with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In case the condition of a patient doesn’t improve, they may try other medications as well.
  2. PSYCHOTHERAPY: Statistics show that this treatment has shown to aid certain patients with depression. Also known as talk therapy or counseling,psychotherapy is of different types – cognitive-behavioral therapy: to change and replace the negative thought patterns of a person with healthier ones, interpersonal therapy: to help a person understand and work through difficult relationships, and problem-solving therapy: providing realistic solutions to cope up with stressful situations.
Studies have shown that psychotherapy and medication works the best together for treating severe cases of depression.

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