Clinical depression

Depression is a common mental disorder characterized by sadness, loss of interest in activities and by decreased energy. Depression is differentiated from normal mood changes by the extent of its severity, the symptoms and the duration of the disorder. It is estimated that 5-10% of the population at any given time is suffering from identifiable depression. These people need psychiatric treatment or psychosocial intervention. The life-time risk of developing depression is 10-20% in females and slightly less in males.

Despite the seriousness of depression as a disease and the availability of effective treatment, only 30% of cases worldwide receive appropriate care. It also causes a very high level of disease burden, and it is expected to show a rising trend during the coming 20 years.

The availability of newer medications and non-pharmacological therapies like psychotherapy and cognitive therapy has helped people cope with the disease and has significantly improved their quality of life.


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