Depression is a common illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that one normally enjoys. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression. It can affect people of all ages from children to the elderly. There are certain triggers for depression, which may be internal or external. Among the internal triggers are low self-esteem, low self-confidence, family expectations, peer pressure, financial struggles etc. Most of the people have experienced some sort of symptoms of depression in their daily lives, however, when these symptoms start affecting the socio-occupational functioning of people and last longer than 2 weeks, then there is a definite problem. The following are some of the symptoms of depression:

  • Pervasive sadness and low mood
  • Increased use of alcohol and other drugs
  • Inability to enjoy previously pleasurable activities
  • Disturbances in sleep – excess sleeping or insomnia
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and helplessness
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Withdrawing from social interactions
  • Difficulty in Concentration

At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Nearly 8,00,000 people die due to suicide every year and it is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. So, if you are feeling down in the dumps, here is what you can do to climb out:

  • Share your feelings with friends and family members.
  • Exercise or take a walk to clear your thoughts. Staying active helps in releasing epinephrine hormone, which uplifts the mind and body.
  • Get involved in some hobby which interests you such as art, music, dance etc.
  • Don’t unnecessarily overburden yourself. Approach professional help.

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