The most striking feature of depression is the suicide rate amongst individuals who are depressed. The suicide rates are higher in depressed individuals compared to general population and can be as high as 15% (National Healthcare Quality Report, 2003). These statistics clearly highlight that depression is a global disease and is common in general population. Thus, it is a huge health burden and an important issue which should be recognized and treated adequately.
Depression is a multifactorial, chronic disorder with a recurrent and relapsing course. The exact mechanism of the disease has not yet been established although a number of theories have been proposed.
Depression is characterized by a number of signs and symptoms. Patients who are depressed generally have low mood and loss of interest in daily activities. They have a feeling of emptiness inside and lack energy to perform daily activities. They suffer from generalized body weakness and are easily fatigued. These patients have frequent crying spells and are preoccupied in negative and pessimistic thoughts. They have feelings of guilt, hopelessness and helplessness. Many patients can also have suicidal ideations and attempt to commit suicide during acute exacerbations.
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