Depression is a common mental illness with a prevalence of 10-15% in general population. It is a debilitating condition which can cause physical and psychological symptoms and lead to social and functional impairment. Depressed individuals have higher risk of committing suicide and also at a higher risk of developing other psychiatric illnesses. Depression is a multifactorial disease with both genetic and environmental causes.
Studies have shown that individuals with a family history of depression are at a higher risk. Recent studies have also identified a number of genes and genetic factors which might have a role in the etiology of depression. Depression affects a person’s psychosocial function and can eventually lead to family problems, problems in social life and loss of job. Depression also has its effects on various aspects of a person’s health. The prevalence of depression is higher in individuals with chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc. and depression also increases the mortality rates associated with these diseases. Thus, it is important to recognize and treat depression as it is the leading cause of disability in the world.
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