What is Depression


Have you ever been unable to complete your goals because your mind and body won’t cooperate with you? Have you ever felt extremely tired in the morning even though you just woke up? Have you ever felt like not participating in activities that previously seemed pleasurable to you? These could be signs of depression.

Despite having the intentions, often people with depression struggle with fulfilling tasks and responsibilities and even basic essential activities such as eating, bathing, brushing, etc. because they constantly experience fatigue and lack of motivation. Getting out of bed itself can be a huge task for them. Depressive disorders are fairly common all over the world.

Some common signs and symptoms of depression include:

• Constantly feeling tired even without exerting much
• Experiencing numbness and feelings of emptiness
• Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
• Excessive or decreased amount of sleep
• Consuming excessive or decreased amount of food
• Sense of hopelessness. helplessness and worthlessness
• Feelings of sadness almost all the time on most days
• Problems with attention and concentration, and making decisions
• Feeling irritable, restless, or even slowed down

These symptoms have a huge impact on the daily functioning of an individual. With respect to work and education, they may miss days of work or classes, not complete the tasks assigned to them, struggle with focusing and retaining information or not achieve desirable grades.

In their personal life, they may experience a lack of sexual desire, they may stop participating in activities that they previously enjoyed and derived pleasure out of (eg. someone who previously enjoyed cycling, or playing the guitar suddenly stops for no apparent reason), they might experience loss of appetite or start eating so much that it leads to significant fluctuation in body weight, difficulty maintaining personal hygiene and routine, are very critical themselves and engage in negative self talk. They also face difficulties sleeping. They may experience insomnia, when an individual isn't able to fall asleep at all; hypersomnia, when a person starts sleeping a lot more than usual and more than what is required. They may also face difficulty falling asleep and or staying asleep continuously.

Interpersonal relationships and the social life of an individual are also hampered due to these symptoms as they may make excuses to avoid meeting friends and family and isolate themselves.

Symptoms of depression are often perceived as laziness and unwillingness to work by others but everyone needs to understand and acknowledge the fact that all of this is not the result of laziness, reluctance, or attention-seeking, it is a serious mental health condition and has to be taken seriously.

Someone with depression may also experience feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, and helplessness. They feel as if they are unworthy of anything good and feel as though they are a burden to others. Such overwhelming emotions can lead to anger outbursts and crying spells. To seek refuge from these feelings, which can be so pervasive and distressful, people with depressive disorders sometimes engage in self-harm and self-injurious behaviors. They may do this to make themselves feel something when they feel numb or empty, to divert attention from emotional pain to physical pain. These behaviour may sometimes lead to intentional or unintentional irreparable/ irreversible damage. Suicidal ideation and related behaviors are very commonly seen in people with depressive disorders. Apart from the aforementioned reasons, feelings of loneliness, long duration, and continuity of depression at any age increase the chance of people indulging in such behaviors.