Depression has become a common medical illness that is serious and negatively affects how a person feels, the way they think, and how their behaviour (APA, 2017).
There is all times when we having feelings of sadness and feeling low. However, some people experience these feeling with more intensity and for longer periods of time that can last from weeks, months or even years. Some times people can have these feelings with no apparent reason. Depression is more than just a feeling of sadness or feeling low it is a serious medical condition that affects a persons physical and mental health function (Beyound Blue, 2019).
Signs of depression can vary from mild to severe.
Feelings of sadness Loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyedChanges in appetite Feeling low and unmotivated Difficulty sleeping or increased amount of sleep Lack of energy Feelings of hopelessness Feelings of worthlessness Difficulties in concentration Thoughts of suicide (APA, 2017)
For a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must be present for over two weeks.
Approximately 6.7% of adults will be diagnosed with depression each year. 16.6% of adults will experience depression within their lifetime.
On average, the first presentation of depression will occur within a person's late teens - mid-20s.
Women are at an increased likelihood of experiencing depression with 1/3 of woman reporting a major depressive episode in their lifetime (APA, 2017).
According to the World Health Organization (2007), depression is believed to the most significant health problem worldwide by the year 2020.
What causes depression?
There are several possible causes of depression.
Having a genetic predisposition to depression Expressing high levels of prolonged stress Can occur after experiencing a distressing event such as loss Having a baby can increase a woman's chance of developing depression Major life transitions can increase the likelihood of experiencing depression
However, depression can occur without any clear triggers (SANE, 2018 ).
APA. (2017, January). What Is Depression? Retrieved from The American Psychiatric Association (APA): https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression
SANE. ( 2018 , 10 May 10 ). Depression . Retrieved from SANE Australia: https://www.sane.org/information-stories/facts-and-guides/depression
WHO. (2014, September 16). Mental health: a state of well-being. Retrieved from World Health Organisation : https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/