Explainer: Understanding Depression


June 15, 2020


Explainer: Understanding Depression

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Depression is a mood disorder involving a persistent feeling of loss of interest and sadness. It is different from mood fluctuations.

Feeling down, sadness, and having a loss of pleasure or interest in daily activities are some of the familiar feelings for all of us. However, if they persist and affect lives substantially, it may be depression.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it can affect adults, adolescents, and even children.

It is an ongoing problem, not a passing one that can last for weeks, months, or even years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Depression is twice as common among women as men.

Signs and symptoms

Depressed mood

Reduced pleasure or interest in activities

Loss of sexual desire

Changes in appetite

Unintentional weight loss or gain

Sleeping too much or too little

Restlessness, agitation, and pacing up and down

Slowed speech or movement

Fatigue or loss of energy

Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

Difficulty in concentrating, or making decisions

Mood swing

Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death, or an attempt to suicide

Other symptoms of depression:

Avoiding social situations and families

Working without break

Displaying abusive behavior in relationships


There are many possible causes such as genetic features, environmental factors, changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels, psychological and social factors, among others.


Depression is treatable.

Support: Discussing practical solutions and causes to educating family members.

Psychotherapy: Talking therapy such as one-to-one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Drug treatment: A doctor may prescribe anti-depressants.

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