About Depression

Depression is a continuous low mood over a long time, affecting both mental and physical health.

Depression is the most common mental disorder affecting 45.7 million people in India. National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-16 reported that depression was higher in females aged 40-49 years and among those residing in urban metros. Approximately, 9.8 million teenagers in the age group 13-17 years suffer from depression

Causes of Depression

The exact cause of depression is not known. It could result from the interaction of genes, environment, and hormonal changes.

  • Genetic Factors:
    • A person with a family history of depression has more probability to develop depression
    • Genetic factors can cause an imbalance in chemicals of the brain which may lead to depression
  • Environmental Factors:
    • Financial problems, Unemployment
    • Emotional Distress/trauma
    • Major life changes, long-term work stress
    • Childhood sexual abuse or bullying victimization
  • Personality Traits:
    • Those who are anxiety-prone
    • People with poor self-esteem
    • Ardent demanding perfectionists
    • Extremely sensitive to personal criticism
  • Medical Illnesses:
    • Thyroid function disorder
    • Chronic Diseases:
      • Illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, etc.
      • Associated Stress
    • Other Mental Disorders such as anxiety disorders
  • Drug and Alcohol-induced: Depression can be a result of drugs and alcohol

Symptoms of Depression

People with depression may experience the following in general:

  • Mood: Indifference, discontent, apathy, hopelessness, guilt etc
  • Whole-body: Lethargy, loss of appetite
  • Weight: Weight gain or loss
  • Sleep: Excessive sleepiness, insomnia
  • Behavioural: Excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation
  • Cognitive: Lack of concentration, slowness in activity & suicidal tendencies are also common

Signs and symptoms specific for men and women 


› Inappropriate Anger

› Irritability

› Aggressiveness

› Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness


› Controlling, violent

› Hopelessness or pessimism

Involved in Activities

› Indulging in risky activities- Reckless driving

› Alcohol or drug use

› Restless, moving and talking slowly, social isolation

› Unhealthy eating habits

Blame game

› Blame others for everything

› Blame themselves


› Irresponsible behaviour towards family, work etc.

› Fatigue, Difficulty concentrating, remembering

Effects of Untreated Depression

  • Increased Suicidal tendency
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • High risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Increased risk of infections due to a decrease in immunity

Treatments for Depression