Depression is not an uncommon disorder. It can greatly lower a person’ potentials and prospects at their work or school and lower the quality of their lives. Moreover, this disorder increases the risk of suicide by 15 to 18 percent.

           Depression not only negatively affects a person but also one’s families and friends.  Depression is an disorder that has effects on a person’s  emotions, thoughts and all parts   of their bodies. It affects the person’s sleeping and eating habits, as well as how one perceives oneself and the world.

Causes of Depression

           Depression is not a mere feeling of sadness that can come and go at will. People with this disorder are neither physically nor emotionally weak. However, while unwell, they will not be able to gather up their strengths on their own. There are many causes of depression, one of which is genetic. While anyone can have depression, it often runs in the family.  Low self-esteem, paranoia, as well as the inability to cope with stress can also trigger its symptoms. Major events such as deaths, losses, disorder and other unwanted changes can set off depression. However severe the symptoms may be, this disorder can be cured.

Helping People with Depression

           Depression weakens  a person, making them feel lethargic, worthless, hopeless and  unable to handle problems. These negative feelings often make a person  despair and   become overly distressed with ordinary, everyday occurrences. These  pessimistic emotions
and thoughts can and will disappear with proper treatment.

A person with depression needs help from their families and friends. Not understanding them can further aggravate their conditions. Be supportive by empathizing with a person. Listen to them and show that you care for their well-being. Understand their conditions and be tolerant and patient with them. Encourage a person to socialize and engage in activities or hobbies they use to enjoy. Do not expect them to be cured of depression quickly. Most importantly, do not imply or accuse a person that they are pretending to be ill. Treating depression takes time.  Watch a person for warning signs of self-harm and suicide and seek medical help as soon as they display any of these signals. Hallucination is also another indication that a person need more help from a psychiatrist.

Symptoms of depressions are outlined in Table 1.

Changes in Emotion    - Feel sad, hopeless, weary, and despondent
   - Lose interest in things or activities that were once enjoyable
   - Feel frustrated and worried
Changes in Thought-Pattern

   - Have shorter attention-span and reduced memory
   - Have obsessive and paranoia thoughts, having bleak and
     hopeless views ofthe future, 
     feeling isolated
   - Lose self-confidence
   - Have feelings of guilt and hopelessness, wondering if life is
     worth living
   - Contemplate self-harm or suicide

Physical Changes    - Move and talk much slower
   - Look gloomy
   - Have trouble sleeping, waking up much earlier or much more often
   - Lose weight
   - Lose sexual drive
   - Have reduced strength, become easily tired
   - Feel physical pain such as headache and stomachache