Depression is one of the most commonly-occurring mental illness conditions today, estimated to affect millions of individuals globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 270 million people suffer from depression globally, a pointer to just how much of a problem depression currently is. This begs the question, what exactly is depression, and why is it so widely occurring?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by extended or persistent feelings of sadness and a marked loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable. Note that depression and grief are two different things, and they should not be used interchangeably for each other. Grief is a natural emotional response to loss or disaster, and although it is characterized by depressed mood and emotions, its symptoms are usually transient.
Depression, on the other hand, is characterized by episodes of depressed mood symptoms that last longer than normal and severely affect/impair the ability of an individual to function properly in his daily life. Another significant difference between depression and grief is that, unlike grief, the symptoms of depression remain present even without a discernable cause.