Depression is a commonly occurring, seriously impairing and recurrent psychological disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Major Depressive Disorder as the second leading cause of disability worldwide by year 2020.It is one of the biggest public health challenges because of the high incidence. Research shows one in five women and one in ten men suffer from depression at some point in their lives. It can occur at any age and in any society.

Depression doesn’t always present with clear cut symptoms, there may be subtle signs which could be missed by the family members and friends.

The common features of Depression include,

Persistent sad mood nearly every day

Loss of interest and pleasure in hobbies and activities

Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness

Decreased energy, easy fatigability

Poor sleep and appetite

Thoughts of suicide and death

Depression is also seen commonly in people suffering from other long standing medical illness. Treating it has a positive effect in the prognosis of the co morbidity. It is not uncommon to see depression in children who present as poor eaters, school phobic with poor academic performance. Depression in adolescents can result in alcohol/drug abuse, frustration, irritability and ideas of self harm. Suicides among people suffering with depression can be prevented by timely professional help.

In our country, the problem lies in the stigma attached with seeking help for psychological problems. Persons with depression who do not seek help suffer needlessly. Unexpressed feelings and concerns accompanied by sense of isolation can worsen the condition.

In recent times however, there has been discussion and coverage of psychological illness and the benefits of mental health well being in various forums. Actress Deepika Padukone has spoken about her illness recently and how she benefited from the treatment.

There are various methods of management of Depression which include medication, counseling and lifestyle changes. The support and involvement of family and friends can play a crucial role in aiding someone who is depressed.

it doesn’t matter where you start, only that you start somewhere."