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Depression – Symptoms, causes, and risk factors

Depression – Symptoms, causes, and risk factors

Depression is a mood disorder that can cause a prolonged feeling of gloominess or sadness, and the most commonly diagnosed type of depression is clinical or major depression. It can directly impact how one feels, behaves, and even thinks about situations and people. Additionally, it can lead to several physical as well as emotional issues.

People with depression may find it extremely difficult to go about their daily activities and carry out simple tasks like getting out of bed or brushing their teeth. Depression warrants medical and psychological intervention to fight the symptoms and improve the quality of life for the patient. In this article, we will cover different aspects of this disorder.

Symptoms of depression
People tend to experience multiple episodes of this disorder. Some of the common symptoms they exhibit during these episodes are constant feelings of tearfulness, emptiness, or sadness. Frequent outbursts of anger and frustration and constant irritability are also common signs of a depressive disorder. Also, one may lose interest in their hobbies or other activities they liked to indulge in earlier, and depression may even manifest in the form of low libido.

People with depression may also experience constant tiredness or lack of energy, so the smallest of tasks can take a lot of effort to complete. Additionally, lack of appetite or constant munching on snacks can lead to weight loss or gain, respectively. Anxiety, restlessness, and agitation are also among the common symptoms of this disorder. Although the symptoms may differ among adults and children, the feeling of emptiness and lack of interest remains common in both.

Causes of depression
While the causes of depression are not exactly known, multiple factors can be attributed to its development. People who have depression may appear to experience physical changes in the brain. While the significance of these changes is not yet known, it can definitely help pinpoint the causes. Additionally, hormonal imbalance and inherited traits can also be significant reasons for the development of depression.

Risk factors of depression
Women are more often diagnosed with depressive disorders as compared to men. Some of the other factors that put a person at a higher risk of facing depression are self-esteem issues and being self-critical. Additionally, stressful events, trauma-inducing circumstances or events, and sexual or physical abuse can also lead to an individual experiencing depression. Among the other factors associated with this condition is a history of other mental health issues like anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and even eating disorders. Certain medications for treating other health conditions may also cause side-effects and trigger depressive symptoms, but one can consult their doctor if this is the case.

A misconception about depression is that it is a simple bout of blues that one can easily come out of. While a person may experience sadness or feel low at some point in life, depression is a severe mental health condition that causes prolonged sadness and loss of interest. Consulting a medical expert is advisable if one is experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

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