Depression is a common mental
disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure,
feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy,
and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead
to substantial impairments in an individual's ability to take care of his or her
everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, a
tragic fatality associated with the loss of about 850 000 thousand lives every
● Depression is common, affecting about 121 million people worldwide.
● Depression is among the leading causes of disability worldwide.
● Depression can be reliably diagnosed and treated in primary care.
● Fewer than 25 % of those affected have access to effective treatments.
Impact Of Depression:
● uses tremendous emotional pain
● Disrupts the lives of millions of people
● Adversely affects the lives of families and friends
● Reduces work productivity and absenteeism
● Has a significant negative impact on the economy, costing an estimated $44
billion a year.
Types Of Depression:
Depressive disorders come in different forms, just as do other illnesses, such
as heart disease and diabetes. Three of the most common types of depressive
disorders are discussed below. However, remember that within each of these
types, there are variations in the number, timing, severity, and persistence of
(1). Major depression :
Major depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that last for at
least two weeks in a row, including sad and/or irritable mood (see symptom
list), that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy
once-pleasurable activities. Disabling episodes of depression can occur once,
twice, or several times in a lifetime.
Dysthymia is a less severe but usually more long-lasting type of depression
compared to major depression. It involves long-term (chronic) symptoms that do
not disable but yet prevent the affected person from functioning at "full steam"
or from feeling good. Sometimes, people with dysthymia also experience episodes
of major depression. This combination of the two types of depression is referred
to as double-depression.