What is depression? 

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in daily activities. It can also cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating. Depression can affect anyone and can range from mild to severe. It is a treatable condition, but it often goes undiagnosed and untreated, leading to a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life and overall well-being.


Depression is a complex mental disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical well-being. It is more than just feeling sad or down for a few days. People with depression experience a persistent low mood, feelings of hopelessness, and a lack of energy or motivation. They may also experience changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and weight, as well as difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and feeling pleasure. 

Types of Depressions

  1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): A serious mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. It can also cause physical symptoms such as changes in appetite and sleep patterns. 
  1. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): A chronic form of depression that lasts for at least two years. It is characterized by a low mood, feelings of hopelessness, and a lack of interest in life. 
  1. Bipolar Disorder: A mood disorder characterized by episodes of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression). During manic episodes, individuals may feel extremely energized and productive, while during depressive episodes, they may feel hopeless and unable to function. 
  1. Postpartum Depression: A form of depression that affects women after giving birth. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness, and may also cause physical symptoms such as changes in appetite and sleep patterns. 
  1. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): A type of depression that occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of energy. 
  1. Atypical Depression: A form of depression characterized by symptoms that do not fit the typical criteria for major depressive disorder. It is characterized by a lack of energy, changes in appetite, and a sensitivity to rejection. 


Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms include: 

  1. Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness 
  1. Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed 
  1. Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping 
  1. Fatigue and low energy levels 
  1. Changes in appetite and weight 
  1. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions 
  1. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt 
  1. Thoughts of suicide or self-harm 
  1. Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches 
  1. Difficulty maintaining relationships and social connections. 

Causes & Risk factor

  1. Genetics: Depression can run in families and may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 
  1. Brain chemistry: Imbalances in certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, can contribute to the development of depression. 
  1. Trauma and stress: Traumatic events such as abuse, the loss of a loved one, or major life changes can trigger depression. 
  1. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as heart disease, thyroid problems, and chronic pain can increase the risk of depression. 
  1. Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can cause side effects that lead to depression. 
  1. Substance abuse: Alcohol and drug abuse can lead to depression and make it harder to treat. 
  1. Social factors: Social isolation, lack of support, and financial stress can contribute to depression. 
  1. Hormonal imbalances: Changes in hormones, such as during pregnancy or menopause, can lead to depression. 
  1. Lack of sleep: Chronic insomnia or poor sleep can contribute to depression. 
  1. Nutritional deficiencies: A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can also contribute to depression. 

Some of the most common risk factors for depression include: 

  • A family history of depression 
  • Chronic medical conditions 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Trauma or abuse 
  • Certain medications 
  • Social isolation 

Treatment of Depression

  1. Medication: Antidepressant medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help to regulate the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that are associated with mood and emotion. 
  1. Therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and talk therapy can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to depression. 
  1. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): This treatment uses a mild electric current to induce a seizure, which can help to alleviate symptoms of depression. 
  1. Light therapy: This treatment involves exposure to bright light, which can help to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and improve mood. 
  1. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. 
  1. Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet, exercise routine, and social connections can also help to improve symptoms of depression. 
  1. Support groups: Joining a support group can provide a sense of community and a safe space to share experiences and coping strategies with others. 
  1. Hospitalization: In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide close monitoring, medication management, and therapy. 

In conclusion, depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed. It can cause a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. The exact cause of depression is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Treatment options include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. It’s important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is suffering from depression. 

At CareMe Health, we understand that every individual’s experience with depression is unique. That’s why we provide customized treatment plans, tailored to each patient’s specific needs and goals. Our team of experts uses a combination of evidence-based therapies and medications to deliver proven results in the treatment of depression. 

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At CareMe Health, we provide an accessible and affordable virtual mental health platform, making it easy to receive the support you need, when you need it.


  • Suvethaa Vasu

    Hi! I am Suvethaa V, RCI licensed Clinical Psychologist with 5 years of work experience in the field of mental health. I have Master’s degree from Women’s Christian College, Chennai and have received my M.Phil in Clinical Psychology from SRMC, Chennai. I have published and presented research papers related to Trauma intervention and parenting. I worked as a Clinical Psychologist in Velammal Medical college Hospital, Madurai and as consultant in various multi-speciality hospitals. I have worked with individuals of diverse age group and various walks of life. My expertise lies in areas of stress related disorders, emotional distress, anxiety, fear & phobia, sleep problems, depression (other mood disorders), substance use, family and marital therapy. I am passionate about child & adolescent mental health and parent intervention too. As a therapist, I believe in Client-centered approach and tailor interventions to address specific therapeutic goals.

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