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About Depression

Depression is a continuous low mood over a long time, affecting both mental and physical health.

Depression is the most common mental disorder affecting 45.7 million people in India. National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-16 reported that depression was higher in females aged 40-49 years and among those residing in urban metros. Approximately, 9.8 million teenagers in the age group 13-17 years suffer from depression

The burden of Depression in India

The prevalence of depressive disorders is estimated to be 2.7% for men and 3.9% for women.

Depression in Males vs Females in India

Causes of Depression

The exact cause of depression is not known. It could result from the interaction of genes, environment, and hormonal changes.

  • Genetic Factors:
    • A person with a family history of depression has more probability to develop depression
    • Genetic factors can cause an imbalance in chemicals of the brain which may lead to depression
  • Environmental Factors:
    • Financial problems, Unemployment
    • Emotional Distress/trauma
    • Major life changes, long-term work stress
    • Childhood sexual abuse or bullying victimization
  • Personality Traits:
    • Those who are anxiety-prone
    • People with poor self-esteem
    • Ardent demanding perfectionists
    • Extremely sensitive to personal criticism
  • Medical Illnesses:
    • Thyroid function disorder
    • Chronic Diseases:
      • Illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, etc.
      • Associated Stress
    • Other Mental Disorders such as anxiety disorders
  • Drug and Alcohol-induced: Depression can be a result of drugs and alcohol
Women are more likely to develop depression than men

Percentage contribution of major risk factors to Depression DALYs in India, 2017

Symptoms of Depression

People with depression may experience the following in general:

  • Mood: Indifference, discontent, apathy, hopelessness, guilt etc
  • Whole-body: Lethargy, loss of appetite
  • Weight: Weight gain or loss
  • Sleep: Excessive sleepiness, insomnia
  • Behavioural: Excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation
  • Cognitive: Lack of concentration, slowness in activity & suicidal tendencies are also common
Signs and symptoms specific for men and women (source)
Symptoms Men Women

› Inappropriate Anger

› Irritability

› Aggressiveness

› Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness


› Controlling, violent

› Hopelessness or pessimism

Involved in Activities

› Indulging in risky activities- Reckless driving

› Alcohol or drug use

› Restless, moving and talking slowly, social isolation

› Unhealthy eating habits

Blame game

› Blame others for everything

› Blame themselves


› Irresponsible behaviour towards family, work etc.

› Fatigue, Difficulty concentrating, remembering

Effects of Untreated Depression

Treatments for Depression

  • Identification: If one is prone to depression then self-awareness and knowing the triggers, one can prevent oneself from getting sucked into depression
  • Setting goals
  • Exercise
  • Eating healthy
  • Getting enough sleep

Depression can be successfully treated with medications, goal-oriented psychotherapy, social support, and desensitization techniques

Should these efforts not work, one can ask a doctor online for privacy issues to reinstate normal health.


9.8 million Teenagers suffered from depression in 2016 (.7%).

Depression is the most common mental disorder in India.

Depression is a mental illness but increases the risk of physical symptoms.

Sadness, hopelessness, worthless, loss of interest in all activities etc. are some common symptoms.

Depression brings a change in mental health causing mood changes, sadness and increases the risk of suicide

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