Decoding Depression #1

Many of us experience different degrees of sadness from time to time, loss of a loved one, failing an exam, disputes with colleagues or friends, not getting the desired opportunity, breaking up with a romantic partner, and the like. However, when we talk about the term “Depression”, it reflects a much more intense and a clinical condition.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM) 5 brings forth, 8 categories of these depressive disorders, as shown below-

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What makes these types differ from one another is their duration, timing, and etiology. The Major Depressive Disorder, however, holds the maximum prevalence (7% in U.S Population, as per DSM 5), as compared to the rest of the types.

Signs and symptoms of depression may initially seem like just one of the phase of sadness, that has been prolonged for a little longer than the usual. However, “clinical depression” stands out from a lay man’s understanding of depression.


Depressed moods– Feeling sad and hopeless most of the time. Irritable moods, as observed by others, in the workplace, home or community. Emptiness and helplessness delving in. Being teary, aloof, feeling everything falling apart, for at least 2 weeks straight.

Loss of interest or pleasureMarked downfall in pursuing the activities that used to give joy to the person, such as making plans, putting in effort or approaching the desired behavior. All this on regular basis. Such a behavior easily catches the attention of the close ones.

Change in appetiteSignificant increase or decrease in appetite (eg. Even up to 5% of body weight modification) can be observed.

Sleep issuesPeople suffering from depression, can often be seen sleeping throughout the day, nearly every day or on the contrary, not getting sleep at all. Hence, conditions or insomnia or hypersomnia are usually observed in such cases.

Inability to concentrateIt is not even the question of trying. A person suffering from depression doesn’t feel like making an effort to focus on the task, whether it be personal hygiene or a project at the office. Indecisiveness can be recounted from every small to the big issue, nearly every day.

Suicidal ideationIt is vital to summon that depression is such a mental state that, it can corrupt the mind in any direction within the 360-degree radius. Suicidal ideation, saying about or diary entries on suicide attempts can also be seen in this disorder. Such thoughts can be recurrent and usually involve harming oneself and not others.

Feeling dullLack of energy or fatigue is usually witnessed in such patients, as opposed to their previous lifestyle. On a daily basis, such a person can be found lethargic (as compared to the previous functioning) about trivial to significant things in life.

- summer 2020 - (1)


  • These signs and symptoms shouldn’t be the result of any medical condition or substance abuse.
  • They should cause significant distress in their social, occupational and other significant areas of functioning.
  • These depressive episodes should not be caused by an effect of other psychological issues like schizophrenia, delusional disorder and other disorders falling in the range of psychotic disorders.
  • There shouldn’t have been an episode of mania or hypomania (This will then rule out the possibility of depression alone, rather suggest the person suffering from “Bipolar Disorder”).


  • On an average, around 1 in 6 women and 1 in 8 men will experience some level of depression.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and                         Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007. Cat. no. (4326.0). Canberra: ABS.

  • In 2015, an estimated 16.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.


” In the next post, ‘Decoding Depression #2’, we’ll explore this topic from a therapeutic perspective”

4 thoughts on “Decoding Depression #1

  1. Signs & symptoms of Depression – The post is very informative. Common people are not aware of many of these things; not treated properly and many times situation aggravates. Awareness is required.

    Liked by 1 person

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