What is Depression?

Experiencing sadness and despair is a common reaction to challenges and losses we encounter in life. While sadness and feelings down are normally experienced when faced with setbacks or losses, and that people develop resilience over time, depression differs as it involves a set of persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness that significantly impedes our ability to lead fulfilling lives. It affects living habits, alters perception of ourselves, and our thought processes.

With that said, depression exists on a spectrum, ranging from mild, transient states of low mood to severe, long-term symptoms that have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. Depression may not be merely a fleeting bout of sadness that can be willed away but rather, they need to be importantly addressed via interventions that may require support from professionals.


Signs & Symptoms:

A person with depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, may experience these symptoms for more than two weeks:

  • Persistent sadness or feelings of despair
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Insomnia or sleeping excessively
  • Feeling tired or loss of energy
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Feeling a sense of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Frequent or recurring thoughts of death or suicidal ideations or suicidal attempts


Should I Seek Help?

Depression is treatable and can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. Treatment for depression could look like an integrative approach of psychotherapy, lifestyle changes and having a support system. At times, medication may be required.

Some of these changes may be overwhelming, and speaking to your healthcare provider could be useful. If you would like to look for a mental health professional to guide you through this process, kindly reach out to us.

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