According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability and one of the most important causes of illness worldwide.
Anyone can suffer from it, although there are certain factors that increase the risk, such as having a family history of depression, or suffering stressful events in life such as job loss, loss of a loved one, having suffered psychological trauma, etc.
Symptoms that may appear are:
➣ persistent sadness (or irritability in children and adolescents)
➣ lack of energy
➣ loss of interest or pleasure in previously pleasurable activities
➣ sleep pattern disturbance
➣ impaired ability to concentrate
➣ difficulty in decision making
➣ disproportionate or inappropriate feelings of guilt or worthlessness
➣ changes in appetite
➣ agitation or psychomotor retardation
➣ suicidal ideation or even
➣ loss of contact with reality in the most severe cases, known as depression with psychotic symptoms
All this implies a decrease in the overall functioning of the person, affecting social, work or other important areas.
Furthermore, depression and physical health are related: Physical health problems can precipitate depression, and vice versa.
As mentioned, in the worst case, it can lead to suicide. Some 800,000 people take their own lives each year. Being suicide the second cause of death among people between 15 and 29 years.
If you think that you or someone in your family might be depressed, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help.