Prof Lukoye Atwoli, a consultant psychiatrist and Dean Medical College at the Aga Khan University defines depression as a mental disorder characterised by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities.
The signs and symptoms of depression include;
- Reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- A loss of sexual desire
- Changes in appetite
- Unintentional weight loss or gain
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Agitation, restlessness, and pacing up and down
- Slowed movement and speech
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide
The triggers of depression are described as a complex interaction between social, psychological and biological factors.
Other factors that could lead to depression include;
- loss and unemployment contribute to and may catalyse the development depression.
- Idiopathic- unknown causes
- Genetic features
- Changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels
- Environmental factors
- Psychological and social factors
- Additional conditions, such as bipolar disorder
- Life events such as childhood adversity
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