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Depressive disorders

Depressive disorders are considered to be the second most common mental health disorder after anxiety. The common characteristic of depressive disorders is the presence of an intense feeling of sadness, discouragement, a feeling of inner emptiness or irritability which is accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes which interfere with the daily functioning of the person. There are different types of depression such as major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder also called dysthymia. Depression can also other forms such as seasonal depression and postnatal depression. Several factors can be involved in depression such as genes, hormones, trauma, experiencing any difficult situation, taking certain medications, and substance use and dependence. It is important to remember that depression shouldn't be taken lightly and should be treated as soon as possible. Major depressive disorder has been shown to be associated with a high death rate due to several causes including suicide.


Depression can lead to:

Psychological problems

  • Intense sadness

  • Rumination of negative thoughts

  • Significant loss of interest and pleasure in usual or new activities

  • Loss of motivation

  • Irritability especially in children and young people

  • Loss of self-esteem

  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts


Physical problems

  • Tired

  • Lack of energy

  • Restlessness or psychomotor retardation such as speech or slow movements

  • Sleep disturbances (increase or decrease in sleep)

  • Loss or increased appetite

  • Weight loss or gain

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