09 JUL 2020
The most commonly occurred mental health illness is depression. It is unfortunate that depression is most of the time misunderstood as grief or bereavement. Both depression and grief have overlapping symptoms but can be differentiated on the basis of the severity of symptoms. Depression can lead to a variety of social, emotional, mental and physical problems.
Depression is a mental illness that directly affects your behavior, mood, and thinking. It alters the way you feel, act and think. It causes feelings of a lack of interest in activities and can decrease the person’s functionality. In the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental health disorders DSM 5, depression is placed under the heading of major depressive disorders. It seems to be more common among women than men.
According to a nation-wide survey conducted by the ministry of health in 2018, approximately 30.1 percent of Egyptians were suffering from depression which is linked with substance abuse. The high rate of prevalence of depression in the Egyptian community demands more attention from families, health and educational institutes. Lack of information about mental health statics is one of the major problems in Middle Eastern countries especially Egypt. The higher prevalence rate of mental health disorders like depression calls for more researches and surveys to be conducted throughout the country to address the need for periodical medical evaluation and psychological support for identified cases
Symptoms of depression
The symptoms of depression can vary depending upon the individual differences, co-occurring disorders, socio-cultural background, and substance abuse. The symptoms of depression must last for at least two weeks for the diagnosis. Depression symptoms can be categorized under four subheadings
- Poor academic performance and a large number of absentees.
- Irritability, anger, and agitation.
- Lack of social interaction and conflict in interpersonal.
- Substance abuse and disruptive behavior.
- Restlessness and lack of interest in pleasurable activities.
- Lack or excess of sleep.
- Weight loss or gain.
- Change in appetite and lack of energy
- Increase in purposeless physical activity e.g. pacing
- Attention, thinking, and decision-making
- The trouble with short-term memory
- Feelings of sadness and worthlessness.
- Suicidal ideation.
- Sensitive to rejection, failure and demand extreme reassurance.
- Increased self-criticism and self-blame.
- Self-harm and self-mutilation.
- Feelings of hopelessness and guilt.
The symptoms of depression can be difficult for the peer group to spot, as it sometimes overlaps with the normal pressure and adjustment issues. You can figure out the typical symptoms by observing the changes happening in the individual. Some of the most prominent symptoms of depression found are irritability, anger, and agitation.
Regardless of the causes of depression, there are some risk factors that also contribute to making your loved ones prone to depression. Some of the risk factors are:
- Early childhood trauma.
- Victim of psychological, verbal and physical bullying.
- Loss of a parent and low self-esteem.
- Chronic medical illness.
- Physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
- Differences in certain chemicals in the brain.
- It can run in families.
Depression is associated with other mental health disorders like eating and sleeping disorder. It can affect your whole family and your everyday life. There are plenty of things you can do to feel better. You can take help from a mental health professional, doctor, and teacher. Depression is treatable, and your peer group can help the most. Your love, guidance, and support can help to fight depression and overcome it.