Depression or low mood is a very common condition. Many adverse and unwanted life events can make us depressed. If the insult is not deep, then we come out of it in a matter of days.


Classification of depression

Endogenous depression - meaning arising from within.

Reactive depression - results from a life event.

Psychotic depression.

Neurotic depression.

Post natal depression.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Major depression.

Minor depression etc.

Experts will decide on what type of depression a patient has.



Persistent depression

When depression persists, meaning there are no moments of happiness at all, there is:


Loss of capacity to feel pleasure.

Excessive self blame.

Feel worthless.

Feels life is not worth living.

Dreads the thought of facing another day.

Suicidal thoughts.


Other features of depression


Early morning waking.

Loss of appetite.

Loss of weight.

Loss of interst in sex.

Loss of interest in any hobbies.

Loss of interest in any activity.

Rarely depression may be mistaken for an underlying serious condition like cancer because there is loss of appetite and weight. A number of unnecessary investigations may be undertaken if depression is not suspected.


What can be done about depression

Be on the look out for depression, particularly in the elderly living on their own.

Make them talk about their mood and feelings.

Arrange activities to boost morale and self-confidence.

Arrange to keep him in touch with his family and friends.

Arrange a visit to his doctor if necessary when a course of antidepressant medicine may be tried to lift him out of depression.