Depression facts you should know

Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by intense sadness. It can hit anyone, regardless of age, but is common amongst those who are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. The disorder can also affect children and adolescents. Take a look at depression facts so you can determine if you are suffering from this mental condition.

What to watch out for

The number of cases of depressive patients has risen dramatically in the last decades primarily due to increasing substance abuse. Depression facts include the following:

  • A person is likely to succumb to depression if someone in the family experienced it.

Depression is an inherited condition as it runs in the genes. Therefore, if depression runs in the family there is a big chance someone will inherit it.

  • Side effects of drugs can make a person fall into depression.

Examples of these include amphetamines, anti-psychotic drugs, beta-blockers and oral contraceptives. Those who are under a hormone (estrogen) replacement therapy can succumb to depression. Certain drugs such as mercury, thallium, vinblestine and vincrestine can cause depression.

  • Personal events such as those involving a loss particularly death of a loved one can make someone depressed.

Death is a tragic even that can affect you immensely. Other events include losing a job or relationship failures.

  • Physical and medical disorders can cause depression.

* Infections

Those who are suffering from certain illnesses such as AIDS, influenza, syphilis, viral hepatitis and viral pneumonia are prone to suffer from depression.

* Cancer

Cancer is a devastating disease and as such patients who are suffering from abdominal cancers, metastatic cancer or cancer of the pancreas are candidates for depression.

* Nutritional disorders

If you have vitamin B deficiency (pellagra) or vitamin B12 deficiency, you are also a candidate for depression.


Other depression facts include the presence of hormonal disorders such as Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome, connective tissue diseases and neurological problems (brain tumor, dementia, head injury, multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea and stroke). Untreated depression may last for up to 6 months. There is no need for hospitalisation, but those who are contemplating suicide, at risk of heart problems or are suffering from weight loss have to be confined. Drug therapy is the cornerstone when treating depression. Patients are prescribed antidepressants. Psychotherapy is also recommended in combination with drug therapy as well as phototherapy (exposure to artificial light) for mild mood disorders.

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