Health and Wellness

 Depression- Main cause of disability worldwide

 Depression: Main cause of disability worldwide:
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Depression is the main cause of disability worldwide. It is a serious health concern if it is long-lasting. Even, it may cause suicide. It may persist with moderate or severe intensity. Most importantly, it is nowadays a very common illness worldwide. Over 264 million people are facing the problem globally. It is neither normal mood fluctuations nor momentary emotional reactions to daily life challenges. Due to this, the affected person may perform poorly. Therefore, it may cause a problem in family life as well as at work.

Around 8,00,000 depressed people commit suicide yearly. It is one of the key reason for death in the 15-29 age group. It normally affects 1 in every 15 adults (estimated 6.7%) within a given year. Besides, 16.6% of people or 1 in 6 people are the victims of this fatal depression at some time in their lives. Some studies also revealed that 1/3 of women will face major depression in their life.

 Depression: Main cause of disability worldwide:

However, this situation aggravates in under-developed countries. Around 80% of people in the low and middle-income group generally receive no treatment. It is not only insidious but also builds-up over time. At first, the changes are very little. So it is very hard to notice But, it leads to bigger changes in future.

What are the key facts of depression?

Key words of Depression

source Google image

  • At first, it is a very common mental disorder which is globally a major concern.
  • Secondly, it is a major cause of disability that lead to several diseases.
  • Even it can lead to suicide.
  • Further women are more vulnerable to depression than men.
  • Besides, globally 264 million-plus people are prey to depression.
  • Generally, it first appears in late teens to mid-twenties.
  • Furthermore, there are successful psychological as well as pharmacological treatments for it.

What is depression?

It is a very common and serious mental disorder. It affects negatively on your feelings as well as your thinking and action. Hence, it develops emotional and physical problems. As a result, a person’s working ability and agility decreases. It not only lowers productivity but also causes loss of time. Added to this, it may affect relationships and chronic health condition.

If the depressed man suffers from the following health condition, then it may get worse due to depression:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Asthma

It may come at any time or any stage of life. This severe medical condition worsens day-by-day without proper treatment.

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What is a simple definition of depression?

It is a disorder of mood or attitude. As a result, the victim always feels sad. Moreover, he loses his interest or motivation. In case of severe or clinical depression, serious emotional and physical criticality arises. Therefore, it poorly affects the thinking, feeling and behaviours of the affected person.

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They will help you in every step of life].

What are the symptoms of depression?

Its symptoms may differ from moderate to severe. The symptoms either can continue or come and go. If these symptoms last for at least two weeks, then there is a chance of depression.

However, these symptoms are different for men, women and children. Although, some medical conditions like vitamin deficiency, thyroid problems, brain tumour, etc. may mimic the above symptoms. Therefore, we will rule out such medical causes.

What are the symptoms of depression in men?

The symptoms of it in men are:

  • Emotional: Feeling sad, morose, empty, worthless, hopeless, guilty.
  • Mood: Have an unhappy mood like anger, irritability, restlessness, aggressiveness, anxiousness.
  • Sleeping: either too much sleeping or not sleeping, restless sleep, insomnia
  • Physical: Digestive problems, appetite change, either gaining weight or losing weight irrespective of dieting, fatigue, headache and pains.
  • Cognitive: Facing problem in concentrating, thinking or making decisions, delayed responses while conversing.
  • Behavioural: Showing noninterest or reluctant in favourite activities, thoughts of death or suicide, involved in high-risk activities, excessive drinking, using drugs.
  • Sexual: Either reduced desire or lack of performance.

What are the symptoms of depression in women?

The symptoms of it in women are:

  • Emotional: Feeling anxious, sad, empty, hopeless.
  • Mood: Have an unhappy mood like anger, irritability.
  • Sleeping: either sleeping too much or difficulty in sleeping, waking up early.
  • Physical: appetite change, either gaining weight or losing weight irrespective of dieting, fatigue, headache, aches and pains, increases cramps, energy loss.
  • Cognitive: Either Facing problem in thinking or talking slowly.
  • Behavioural: lack of interest in activities, thoughts of death or suicide, withdrawing from social activities.

Moreover, postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder are unique to females.

What are the symptoms of depression in children?

The symptoms of it in children are:

  • Emotional: despair or incompetence feelings (I cannot do anything correctly), crying, Feeling sad
  • Mood: crying, anger, irritability, mood fluctuations.
  • Sleeping: either too much sleeping or difficulty in sleeping.
  • Physical: Digestive problems, appetite change, either gaining weight or losing weight, loss of energy. [Also read lose weight in a healthy and natural way
  • Cognitive: concentrating problem, lowering school performances as well as grades.
  • Behavioural: facing problem in school, not willing to go to school, avoiding relatives and friends, thoughts of death or suicide.

What causes Depression?

What causes Depression

source google image

The possible factors may increase their risk. The common causes may range from biological to circumstantial like

  • Genetic factors may affect it.
  • Childhood abuse either sexual, physical or psychological can also be the reason behind it.
  • If, brain structure changes, then it may occur.
  • Social and psychological factors may also affect it.
  • Another reason may be health conditions like chronic illness or pain, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • It may be due to the abuse of liquor or drug.
  • 21% of people having a substance use problem also have depression.

Some other probable causes of depression are as follows:

  • Various Stress due to death of loved ones or divorce or financial crisis may cause this situation. [You may also read, stress management technique].
  • If there is an individual history of mental disease, then such condition may occur.
  • The situation may arise due to low self-esteem.
  • Use of certain medicines may also be a cause.

Apart from this, bipolar disorder is another option.

What are the types of depression?

It is mainly of two types, major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder.

What is Major depressive disorder (MDD)?

In fact, it is the most harmful depression. In this case, you will experience 5 or more symptoms at a time for over 2 weeks.

What causes MDD (Major Depressive Disorder)?

In fact, the exact reason for MDD is not clear or known. However, the following factors may increase its risk of developing MDD:

  • Abuse of liquor or drug.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Childhood abuse either sexual, physical or psychological.
  • Specific medicines including steroids.
  • Health conditions like hypothyroidism, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, or cancers.

What is persistent depressive disorder (PDD)?

It is popular as dysthymia. Although, it is milder but chronic. It lasts for 2 years, at least. Therefore, it affects more than MDD. Generally, it is common for them who have

  • low self-esteem
  • hopeless feelings
  • lacking productive ability
  • reluctant in normal activities.

What is Bipolar affective disorder in simple words?

Generally, in this condition mood shifts extremely high (mania) to low (depression). At this time, the affected person shows irritable or elevated mood, inflated self-esteem. It is one sort of mental illness. It passes through very high and low states of moods. Sometimes, the changes are very rapid and dramatic. But, most of the time they are gradual.

There will be changes in behaviour, energy and sleep. Furthermore, the affected person will pass very happy and energized periods and in some periods he will feel hopeless, sad, lethargic. However, it is chronic and recurring.

What is Psychotic depression?

In this situation, people have psychosis with depression. These “psychotic” symptoms involve

  • delusions (false beliefs) or
  • paranoia (detachment from reality or others are harming you)
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing unexistence).

What is peripartum (postpartum) depression?

After childbirth (weeks or months), women hormones readjust. As a result, changes in mood or postpartum depression may occur.

What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

Women, at the start of their period, may have this PMDD. They not only feel depressed but also feel

  • Anxiety
  • Change in appetite or sleep pattern
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Overwhelming
  • Concentration problem

Moreover, there may be ‘seasonal affective disorder’, ‘situational’ and ‘atypical’ depression

What is manic depressive or manic depression?

Manic depression is a state of alternating moods of unusual highs (mania) as well as lows (depression). Because of the mood swings between these two opposing poles, therefore It is also popular as bipolar disorder.

Is major depression a disability?

Major depression, as well as a severe bipolar disorder at times, may meet the requirements for social security disability benefits.

How do major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder differ?

Sometimes it is very confusing to differentiate between the above twos. The only difference is that in major depressive disorder there are signs of depression. But, there will be no high period or mania.

However, you will find this mania along with signs of depression in case of bipolar disorder.

How depression is tested?

To start with, there is no direct test to diagnose it. The healthcare provider, at first, diagnose based on several symptoms as well as psychological assessment like

  • Sleep pattern
  • Thinking
  • Moods
  • Productive ability
  • Appetite
  • Family history
  • Personal history of drug and alcohol abuse
  • Severity, etc.

He may also taste blood along with some other health conditions. Often, mental health professionals gave them questionnaires. Depending on their answers, they can assess the severity and suggest treatment accordingly. There are ‘the Hamilton depression rating scale’ and ‘the Beck depression inventory’.

However, do not ignore it. If the symptoms do not improve or get worse, then you need to seek medical assistance. Otherwise, the following complications may arise:

  • Panic attacks
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Relationship problems
  • Aches, headache, physical pain or cramp.
  • Substance use problem
  • Sexual problem
  • self-harm
  • Social isolation
  • Even suicide

What are the Treatments of depression?

Treatment of Depression

source Google image

At first, it is treatable. Generally, there are three modules of treatment depending upon the symptoms.

Support: This involves a discussion regarding possible causes and practical solutions along with instructing family members.

Psychotherapy: Actually, it is talking therapy which is either one-to-one counselling or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).

Drug treatment: A doctor can recommend an antidepressant drug or antidepressants.

What are the types of antidepressants?

There are several types of antidepressant medications available for treating depression. These are

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MOAIs)
  • Trycyclic antidepressants
  • Atypical antidepressants
  • Other medications

What do antidepressants do?

At first, antidepressants assist to balance neurotransmitters or chemicals in the human brain. As a result, there is betterment in mood and emotion. They also develop not only concentration but also appetite. Moreover, they help to enjoy better sleep.

[ If you wish, then you can read my writings on sleep. As a matter of fact, sleep is extremely crucial not only to keep you energetic and active throughout the day but also for all-round benefits:

Also, know the followings causes of disturbances of sleep.

What is the meaning of anti-depression?

The medical definition of anti-depression is preventing or counteracting depression. In simple words, it is an anti-depression drug. They assist to treat moderate to severe depression.

 Do antidepressants change your personality?

Antidepressants may change personality, according to various studies. In fact, these drugs may change neuroticism and extraversion, the two key traits of personality.

What are the bad side effects of antidepressants?

There are a lot of negative side effects of antidepressants. The patient may experience the followings:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling numb
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Low blood sugar
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia

What is the most dangerous antidepressant?

The most dangerous antidepressant is tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) compared to other types of depression. It requires typically the highest number of the dose of TCA amitriptyline which is between 40 to 100 milligrams (mg), daily.

What is the most prescribed antidepressant?

These are

  • Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide)
  • Desyrel (trazodone hydrochloride)
  • Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)

What is the mildest antidepressant?

Less effective and less tolerable antidepressants are

  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Venlafaxine (Efferox)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

What is the best antidepressant with least side effects?

Generally, these medications create fewer inconvenient side effects. Often doctors prescribe an SSRI at the beginning. In fact, these are less harmful at higher therapeutic doses compared to other depression doses. SSRIs include

  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

What are the natural remedies?

Some use herbal medications as a natural remedy for mild to moderate depression. Because, the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) does not monitor them, therefore the assurance of quality may be doubtful. However, the well-known herbal products are

  • John’s wort (for bipolar disorder)
  • Chamomile (antidepressant flavonoids)
  • Ginseng (reduce stress, better mental clarity)
  • Lavender (reduce insomnia and anxiety)

Generally, people take these herbal products as supplements. Moreover, there are nonherbal supplements like S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) and 5-hydroxytryptophan.

What foods are good for helping depression?

Sometimes, Healthy eating habits may help us to treat depression. But, there is no specific food for it. A 2017 study revealed that eating a healthy diet for 12 weeks improved moderate-to-severe depression. At first, they received nutritional counselling which suggested fresh and whole foods full of various nutrients. Added to this, they had to limit or stop processed refined foods, junk foods, fried foods and sweets in any form.

Another study in 2019 showed that sugary as well as processed foods could affect adversely on the mentality of young adults.

However, the following components in foods are helpful for various brain and health functions

  • Selenium
  • Antioxidants [ Vitamin A (beta-carotene), C and E
  • Vitamin D
  • B vitamins
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Protein
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All the above healthy foods contain a lot of nutrients apart from the above. Use them for your good health].

Moreover, psychotherapy, exercise, brain stimulation therapies are some treatment options to settle depression.

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How long does it take to treat depression?

Generally, an episode of severe depression lasts for 4-8 months. But, proper treatment can shorten this duration from 3-6 months. However, it is an average. Therefore, it varies individually.

[However, read the followings. These traits will help you to keep out of it. These are

Do You Tube cause depression?

In the first place, this popular app negatively affects body image as well as sleep. Therefore, it increases bullying. Added to this there is the fear of missing out or “FOMO”. Consequently, it leads to the feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation.

[Anyhow our savings function as indirect aggravator to our moods. Therefore, the following articles will help you a lot of ways in life.

Is it a disability?

According to WHO depression is a leading cause of disability.

Therefore, do not ignore it. Treat it when it is mild or just beginning to show the signs.

I think the above information will be very helpful for you. Avoid depression and live a life full of happiness.


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About the author

Banani Chakraborty

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