What is Depression? Risk Factors and How it can be Treated?

In this time and era, it is very common to hear a number of individuals say, “I’m depressed.” It’s vital to comprehend and acknowledge that Sadness and Depression are not the same things. Depression is not only about being upset or sad. This is a mental illness that can only be diagnosed by a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist. Labeling yourself or others as depressed without understanding this illness is not appropriate.

Let’s begin with something that is generalized and relatable for every single human, sadness, is a fundamental, common feeling. It’s composed of unhappiness, despair, sadness, disappointment, loss, and helplessness. It is the emotional suffering we experience when horrible things happen. Everyone in life feels it when there are terrible times or if someone lost something significant. To be unhappy over something unpleasant or terrible is quite normal. Sadness is a passing emotion that passes away with time.

Moving on to when it actually becomes a serious problem, that’s if it lasts for a long time and affects the quality of life because that can result in depression.


According to American Psychological Association (APA), depression is “a negative affective state, ranging from unhappiness and discontent to an extreme feeling of sadness, pessimism, and despondency, that interferes with daily life. Various physical, cognitive, and social changes also tend to co-occur, including altered eating or sleeping habits, lack of energy or motivation, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and withdrawal from social activities. It is symptomatic of a number of mental health disorders.”

In simpler words, depression is a severe medical illness that requires treatment as soon as possible, because if it remains untreated for a long time, the person with depression can end his/her life by committing suicide. Depression is also known as Clinical Depression or Major Depressive Disorder.

Another natural human emotion that is often confused with depression is bereavement; a problematic period of despair known as bereavement occurs when a loved one passes away. A person experiences bereavement when a loved one passes away, they get divorced, or they experience a breakup in a relationship. When someone dies, a hole is left in their life. An individual is attempting to return to their regular life without their loved one or related throughout the period of bereavement. Bereavement can make a person act depressed, but depression is not what bereavement is. People recover from loss over time, but it takes time.

It is a really unpleasant condition when depression coexists with bereavement because the symptoms are worse at that time.

Another common and inaccurate association built with depression is grief.  However, grief and depression differ significantly from one another. Grief is not a mental condition, but depression is. Grief is a universal emotion. It is a sensation or reaction to losing something, most likely a close friend or family member. Bereavement is the state of being in a loss, and grief is the feeling that results from that loss. The response can take the shape of a mental, physical, or social responsibility.

Grief is a stage of transition when a person is readjusting to life following a loss. When someone leaves the life of someone else who is emotionally attached to the person who left them, that person has sadness since they lost a love relationship. It might be someone passing away, a breakup, a divorce, or even losing a job.

A person may experience despair, rage, guilt, withdrawal, emptiness, and/or worry during this state. Grief is the process of moving from the distress of a loss to the acceptance of that loss and returning to normal life.

Although grief and depression have some overlapping symptoms. But they are two separate things. When they co-exist then symptoms are worst. It can be challenging to distinguish between their symptoms, but only a psychiatrist or psychologist can do so.

The only distinction between the two is that in depression, a person feels unworthy, accuses oneself, and the entire attention is on oneself. But when someone is grieving, all of their attention is directed toward the circumstance or the loss.


A risk factor is an aspect that heightens a person’s chances of developing a disease or condition. For example, smoking is a risk factor for heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

When it comes to depression, several factors play a role, including a variety of genetic, psychological, and environmental contributors. Most of them are the following:

  • Family History/ Genetics
  • Serious illnesses
  • Substance abuse
  • Medication
  • Childhood trauma & major life events
  • Unresolved grief or loss
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Lack of social support


The first and foremost important aspect of treatment for any psychological disorder is professional assistance by psychiatrists or psychologists which is required for mental health disorders like depression. Home remedies like getting married, traveling, or starting a new job cannot cure them. Proper treatment plans are required for disorders and illnesses, not simple home remedies.

Medication or counseling/psychotherapy provided by qualified mental health experts must be used to treat depression.

From therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes, all combined are necessary to treat depression. Simple changes in a person’s lifestyle are powerful tools in the treatment of depression. Sometimes they might be all you need. Professional help is required but lifestyle changes can help lift depression faster—and prevent it from coming back. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, Strong social networks to reduce isolation, and eating well is important for both your physical and mental health, Sleep has a strong effect on mood and stress reduction all combined making powerful impacts.

If any of your loved ones are struggling with depression or other mental health problems, you can refer them to PRC Clifton Karachi. At Parvarish Recovery Center, a well-trained team of professionals helps people with addiction and mental health issues. For more information regarding our services feel free to call 0341-1959599 or visit our centers.

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