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›› What is Depression?
Causes of Depression
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Main > Specialty Areas > Psychiatry >
Depression

What is Depression?

In short, depression is a psychological disorder involving low self-worth, lack of social support, dependency on others and poor outlook on life. Depression is the leading cause of disability and occurs in persons of all genders, ages, and backgrounds.

Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-esteem, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual's ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, a tragic fatality associated with the loss of about 850 000 thousand lives every year.

Depression can be reliably diagnosed in primary care. Antidepressant medications and brief, structured forms of psychotherapy are effective for 60-80% of those affected and can be delivered in primary care. However, fewer than 25% of those affected (in some countries fewer than 10%) receive such treatments. Barriers to effective care include the lack of resources, lack of trained providers, and the social stigma associated with mental disorders including depression.

Causes of Depression ››

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