What is depression and can you overcome it?

Clinically, depression is defined as a mental state wherein the mind is constantly unhappy or unsatisfied for an indefinite period. According to the WHO, depression is the most common mental illnesses experienced by individuals today. In fact, as per a survey conducted by the CDC, about 7-8% of people over 12 yrs suffer from some mild form of depression once every 2 weeks. With appropriate treatment, lifestyle changes and professional help, it is possible to overcome depression.


Key causes

As the ancient monk Gautama Buddha said – “expectation is root cause of sorrow”. The pressure created by societal expectations is a leading cause of depression in today’s society. These social pressures can be related to a range of factors such as body image, physical appearance, relationships, academics etc. Additionally, other common causes of depression may include problems in one’s personal or professional life.

It is important to note that since no two people are the same, the causes for depression vary drastically from person to person. Consequently, different people will also experience depression in different ways.

Some common symptoms

  • Sadness for an indefinite period
  • Irritability
  •  Loss of interest in any activities that once brought you joy
  •  Withdrawal from social activities
  •  Chronic fatigue and weakness
  •  Loss of sleep / disturbed sleep
  •  Suicidal tendencies

How to overcome depression

A healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand. Thus, factors like social interactions, lifestyle, nutrition and exercise all play important roles in overcoming depression.

    • Talk it out. The first line of treatment before seeking professional help is to simply talk to people about what you’re going through. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can be extremely helpful while battling depression.
    • Spend time doing things that you love. This could be just about anything – watching your favourite show, going shopping, eating your favourite meal etc. The idea is that by doing something you enjoy, you can lift your mood.
    • Prioritise your sleep. Improving the quantity and quality of your sleep can help improve your mood and depressive symptoms.
    • Sweat it out. Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as an antidepressant. Moreover, maintaining a regular exercise schedule can also prevent you from relapsing.
    • Give meditation a go. For individuals who are depressed, regular meditation has been proven to reduces stress and anxiety that act as triggers.
    • Reach out for help. If you feel like you are unable to cope with your condition, do not hesitate to reach out for professional help. Remember, you are not alone. Depression can happen to anyone at any stage in their lives.