Is a constant feeling of sadness or loss of interest. It is a genuine mental health concern triggered by several causes that one has faced during their lifetime.

The severity of depression lies in the fact that it can rob you of the simple inertia to function and perform day to day activities.


There are different types of depressive disorders. Symptoms can range from relatively minor (but still disabling) to very severe. This phase can be extreme and painful but it is not impossible to overcome. Help is available and with a little effort you can banish depression from your life. Identifying the type of depression you are going through is the first step towards healing. There are three main types of depressive disorders.

Depression icon mind matters

Major Depressive Disorder

Unipolar or Major Depression sets in when you are diagnosed with five or more of the typical depression symptoms. The ability to work, sleep, study, eat and experience life in general is crippled in this case.

Persistant Chronic Depressive Disorder

This symptom persists for at least two years during which you will be affected by episodes of major depression accompanied by at least two other depressive symptoms. Also known as Dysthymia, this chronic form of depression interferes with your ability to function.

Anxiety icon mind matters

Treatment Resistant Depression

It is a chronic or longstanding and it does not respond to antidepressants. Often Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is applied depending on the nature and severity of the condition.



Bipolar Disorder

Previously known as manic depressive disorder- People have extreme mood swings, where one can experience periods of depression, periods of mania and long periods of normal moods in between. Symptoms include – overly inflated self-esteem, insomnia, increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, distractibility, increased goal-directed activity or physical agitation and excessive involvement in highly painful activities.


Substance induced mood disorder (SIMD)

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder. It’s a given that certain drugs have the potential to gravely affect your mental health. The adverse effects of these drugs can result in manic or chronic depression.


Seasonal Disorder

Experienced during winter due to the lack of natural sunlight, it generally lifts at the onset of spring or summer. If you happen to go through such symptoms, light therapy with antidepressants and psychotherapies will help in lifting the gloom.


Psychotic Depression

Don’t be afraid if you are experiencing severe depression along with some form of psychosis like delusion (false beliefs), hallucination (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there) or paranoia (wrongly believing that others are trying to harm you). It is completely curable with time and proper treatment.


Secondary Depression

If you previously suffered or recovered from hypothyroidism, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS or a psychiatric problem such as schizophrenia, panic disorder or bulimia. You can be more receptive to depression due to the Emotional and physical stress during these illnesses.


Postpartum Depression

Mostly experienced by women after giving birth, this form of depression is different from the normal “baby blues”. Massive hormonal and physical changes coupled with the responsibility of a newborn can be overwhelming for some mothers.


Masked Disorder

This form of depression is often masked by physical ailments for which no organic cause can be determined.

Symptoms of DEPRESSION

The severity, frequency and extent of depressive symptoms usually vary person to person depending on the individual and their condition, the following signs might help in an early detection.

  • Insomnia, early morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Overeating/ weight gain and appetite/ weight loss
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Loss of pleasure in life
  • Severe distraction, trouble in recalling details and making decisions
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities or hobbies, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts


When it comes to factors that cause depression, it is important to understand and accept that depression is a condition that doesn’t adhere to any particular causation theory – genetics might or might not affect a person’s susceptibility to it. Depressive disorders are caused due to a combination of the bio-psycho-social model of causation and a few other factors.



Hormones such as neropherine, dopamine, and serotonin are responsible for nerve communications. Differences in these can affect our moods causing depression or depression causes these differences it is still inconclusive.However health issues are also considered the cause of depressive disorders.



Medical conditions like cancer, thyroid, chronic pain, heart attack, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, hormonal disorders, diabetes and others can cause depressive illness. Making one apathetic towards their mental and physical needs prolonging the recovery.



Low self-esteem, tendency to be overwhelmed due to stress and personality disorders are few psychological factors that cause depression. These could be early signs and not a predisposition to depression.



Men are less prone to depression than women as women go through hormonal transformations during pregnancy, menstruation and menopause.



Children, teenagers and adolescents are known to experience depression. It is an older generation that is known to be at higher risk.


Trauma and Grief

Physical emotional abuse, or loss of friend , family or a loved one often trigger clinical depression. Excessive grief and physical vulnerability causes depression.


Medication and Substance Use

The use of prescribed drugs, alcohol and substance abuse can make one more susceptible to depression. Certain medications taken over a period of time can interfere with effects leading to increased risk of depression.



Life changes such as age, gender, family problems, children, marriage, divorce, close association with sick relative, socio-economic status, past trauma, abuse, isolation, stress at home work or school are few social causes of depression.



30-40% of depressive symptoms are attributed to genetic pre-deposition. However other factors such as stress at home, work or school also trigger depression.

What can DEPRESSION trigger?

More often than not depression and other illnesses are interlinked, meaning that physical illness can lead to clinical depression and vice versa. It’s normal to feel a little down when one is experiencing physicall sickness but if the same continues over a two week period, it is time to take notice. Common co-existing conditions of depression are:



The stigma associated with HIV/AIDS can result into depression. Often as a defense towards the shame and embarassment people turn to substance abuse and aggravate their condition. Newer and better treatments ensure that the person has a chance to live an improved and healthier lifestyle.


Sexual Dysfunction

A pre-diagnosed depressive condition can lead to a disinterest in most things in life including sexual activity while inability to perform in bedroom takes a toll on one’s confidence level leading to depression.


Heart Disease

People suffering from heart diseases and stroke patients can experience depression. Stress, poor lifestyle choices and reluctance to take care of oneself contribute to depressive disorders when it comes to heart diseases.



Often anxiety, physical and mental lethargy are associated with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hence, it is important to get an additional diagnosis of depressive disorder so that proper medication is provided.


Substance Addiction

Mental illness can lead to substance abuse and vice versa. As a means to cope with depression misuse of tranquilizers, alcohol and other substances can lead to addiction.



Depressive disorders are noticed in cancer patients when it directly affects one’s ability to carry out daily activities, affects social relationships, causes immense pain or fatigue, etc.



Depression and diabetes follow a cycle that can cause more harm if not addressed at the right time. Diabetes causes inner turmoil, thereby initiating depression, which leads to demotivation resulting in higher blood sugar levels, greater fatigue, lethargy hence further depression.


Digestive Disorders

Neglected dietary practices, excess release of stress hormones and digestive acids can lead to digestive problems during depression. On the other hand, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause depression too.



Panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia or generalised anxiety are the few types of anxiety disorders known to co-exist with depression.

Self Help

Realising that one is suffering from depression is something that won’t happen immediately. Often you would feel exhausted, helpless and hopeless about your life. It would seem next to impossible to find the will to do things you once liked or interact with anyone. Snapping out of depression is not an option, hence you need to begin with smaller steps towards staying happy.


Seek Professional Help.


Avoid Negative Influences.


Try Be active- exercise, go for a movie, do something you love.


Be patient, and expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.


Set realistic goals for yourself, break down larger task into smaller ones.


Try spend time with people even though you feel irritated . Confide with a trusted friend or loved one. Avoid isolation.


When sleep and appetite improve respond positively to such changes.


Postpone and try not making important decisions like getting married or divorced or changing or quitting jobs.

How To Help Others

When you find someone you know or is close to you experiencing depression, the three most important things that you can offer them is love, support and a gentle but firm push towards proper professional help.

  • Make them laugh and show them that you care and remind them of their strengths.
  • Arrange for hospitalisation if they are experiencing suicidal tendencies, hallucinations or delusions.
  • Remind your loved one that with time and counselling, they will overcome the depression.
  • Don’t give up on the person — they might need to hear repeatedly from several people around them that they deserve to feel better.
  • Speak to them, let them express and listen carefully.
  • Never ignore references to suicide. Report them to your loved one’s therapist.
  • Invite your loved one out for walks, outings and other activities that they used to love once. But care not to push them too much if they are reluctant.
  • Convince them to avail of professional assistance.
  • Show emotional support, understanding, patience and encouragement.
  • Never dismiss their feelings or undermine their pain.
  • Do not be tough on your loved one, support them through the rough patch.
  • Accompany them to the therapist if they ask you to do so.