Depression The Villain

Posted by gayathri vijayalakshmi on Mon, Dec 4, 2017  
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Are you feeling sad consistently?

Have you lost the interest in activities

Are you feeling tired always…

Are u feeling hopeless/ worthless/ helpless

Do you feel life is not worth living?

Do you wake up early in the morning

If anyone is having these features it is necessary to seek opinion.

Depression is a leading cause for disability adjusted life years. As a result it results in loss of productivity. This is a risk factor for suicide, substance use disorders. Depression is an epidemic that is sweeping across the world. 1 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women suffer from depression.

As per international classification of diseases depression is diagnosed when individuals presents  with sad mood ,anhedonia( lack of interest in pleasurable activities),easy fatiguability, ideas of hopelessness, worthlessness ,helplessness, ideas of self- harm, acts of self -harm ,early morning awakening ,disturbed appetite and low self- esteem , confidence.

How to differentiate sadness from depression: persistent and pervasive sadness for 2weeks or more along with the other   features.



Why would individuals be depressed? It is often stated by friends and family that the individual has no stress. Stressful life events may or may not be associated with stress.

What is the cause for depression: etiology is often multifactorial. Factors are often biological, psychological & social .Biological factors being low levels of certain chemicals in the brain, family history of depression or other mood disorders. Psychological factors would involve negative cognitions. Social factors can be positive stress or negative stress. Eustress is positive stress for example promotion at job, negative stress is distress (for eg job loss).


As individuals it is important to recognise the villain in yourself as well as among friends & family. Masked depression can present with pain and paraesthesia. Earlier the treatment can increase productivity of individual. This would prevent high rates of suicide.


Treatment options would include cognitive behavioural therapy. Basically cognitive therapy looks at how we think effects how we feel. Behavioural therapy involves activity scheduling.


Medications for depression would involve antidepressants. Older antidepressants like amitriptyline , newer antidepressants like citalopram, escitalopram are beneficial. For a certain number of individuals who do not respond to single antidepressant combination of antidepressants or addition of mood stabiliser may be needed. Resistant cases  of depression may require brain stimulation.


Depression needs to recognised at the earliest. High rates of suicide ,presenteeism, absenteeism  needs to reduced . Mental health issues is often left out. Mood disorders often leads to poor outcome of medical illness, poor  interpersonal relationships ,drug use .Individuals with depression can also have certain other disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders.


World health day has taken on campaign depression let’s talk  . The most important component of recovery is when people talk about depression. Stigma is a barrier to people seeking help for this issue. Talking about depression should happen with friends, family member, health professionals. It should happen in larger groups like schools and workplaces.





Depression, villain, early recognition, suicide


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