What is Depression, and what can you do about it?

A short summary of what depression is, the most common symptoms, who is vulnerable and what you can do about it

By Team Helsa 4th December 2019

Photo by Lily Banse

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Team Helsa


Depression is a debilitating condition usually associated with feelings of sadness, anxiety, and melancholy. Depression impacts all areas of life; from interpersonal relationships to professional work and symptoms, if left unchecked for a long time can hinder one’s ability to live a normal life.

The causes of depression can range from genetic predisposition (history of depression and anxiety in the family) to hormonal (postpartum depression) and environmental causes (unsupportive environment, stress, and trauma). It is important to remember that while the reasons may vary, depression is a brain disorder just as much it is a state of mind and treatment in the form of therapy is critical for recovery.

Symptoms of Depression

While sadness is the major symptom associated with depression, it is much more than that. Depression can look and feel differently for different people and usual signs of depression include:

  • Feelings of persistent sadness, anxiousness, or numbness

  • Feeling hopeless and pessimistic

  • Uneven sleeping pattern and insomnia

  • Changes in appetite

  • Restlessness and irritable mood

  • Feelings of guilt, helplessness, and worthlessness

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities which gave you pleasure before

  • Loss of energy and feeling excessively tired

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Insomnia or loss of sleep

  • Suicidal ideation

Due to the stigma surrounding mental health, signs and symptoms go unchecked. If you feel that you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, then seek professional help. You can also test for signs of depression here.

Who is Vulnerable?

Though depression affects people of all genders, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds, some groups are more vulnerable than others. Similarly, while the symptoms overlap, everyone depicts and shows signs differently.
Women, for example, experience symptoms of guilt, worthlessness, and anxiety more than men. Men depict symptoms like stress, irritability, and loss of pleasure along with insomnia as a sign of depression. On the other hand, people belonging to a marginalized group, especially the LGBTQ+ community are at high risk of feeling and experiencing depression.

The Next Step?

Depression is treatable and with the right treatment plan, you can make a fast and quick recovery back to health, hope, and life. It goes without saying that experiencing depression makes your worldview bleak and hopeless, but you should know that depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world and you are not alone in this.

Use Helsa Match, to find a professionally qualified, LGBTQ+ specialised therapist that has the right knowledge and experience for your needs.