At one point in life, everyone may have feeling of sadness. It may occur due to loss of loved ones, following a disaster or serious illness; however, it usually lasts only few days. When this feeling of sadness is intense enough to interfere with normal day to day activities in life lasting for a defined period of time, it may be termed as depression. There are several causes for depression including distressing events, heredity, hormonal changes, and side effects of medications. Common symptoms include lack of interest or pleasure in activities, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, lack of appetite, weight gain or weight loss can occur. Treatment depends on the type and severity of depression. Supportive management and psychotherapy may be enough in mild cases, whereas, drugs and electroconvulsive therapy may be indicated in severe cases. Hospitalization may be required in severe cases and when there are suicidal tendencies.
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