Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common disorder, and a serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. This disorder affects around 1 in 15 adults, and 1 in 6 people in their lives.

Depression can lead to feelings of heavy sadness, loss of interest and hopelessness. Depression can also contribute to many physical and emotional problems as well, such as a decrease in performance (e.g work, personal health) and the inability to function in relationships and social situations (e.g family, friends and workplace)

The symptoms of depression widely vary from mild to severe and include, but are not limited to:

  • Insomnia or over-sleeping
  • Feeling sad/depressive mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Difficulty with focus and concentration
  • Feelings or worthlessness and guilt
  • Loss of energy
  • Appetite change that can lead to weight loss or weight gain unrelated to diet.

To be diagnosed with depression, some of, or all the listed symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks and must represent a negative impact on your previous level of function.


Depression is among the most treatable mental disorders. Around 85% of people with depression eventually respond well to medical treatment (i.e psychotherapy and medication). Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.

Other methods to help symptoms are natural remedies such as herbal supplements (St John’s wort, SAMe, Omega 3 fatty acids, saffron, 5-HTP and DHEA), physical activities, nutrition and dietary supplements. By contacting your doctor or a mental health professional, you will be able to evaluate the level of treatment needed and the steps needed to achieve success.

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