Depression is often seen through a drop in your emotions, a continuous low mood, and feelings of hopelessness. There is help available, and it is very possible to recover and manage your symptoms.

Recognising symptoms

Signs and symptoms of depression

Depression should not be confused with normal periods of feeling down, discouraged, or confused with grieving a loss. Everyone experiences some of these symptoms at some point and they usually pass with time or once a specific situation has passed. However the symptoms of depression are often long lasting, consistent, and affect the way you do your daily tasks.

Unfortunately, because the symptoms of depression often mimic physical sickness, many people continue to suffer undiagnosed. However, once diagnosed, depression can be successfully treated.

  • Feeling sad most of the time, “empty”, anxious, hopeless, helpless, or unnecessarily guilty

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Change in your eating patterns and/or weight loss or gain

  • Restlessness, irritability, or anger

  • Struggling to concentrate or remember

  • Thoughts of death, dying, suicide or suicide attempts

  • Physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment, such as headaches, stomach pain, back pain and chest pain

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

  • Less energy than usual, tired all the time and feeling “slowed down”

  • Easily distracted and difficulty solving problems

More about depressive disorders

If you think that you or a loved one is suffering from depression, you are not alone. Each year millions of adults, adolescents, and children worldwide experience a period of clinical depression, causing pain and suffering not only to those experiencing this debilitating disorder but also to those who care about them.

Severe depression can destroy both individuals and families and needs to be taken seriously and treated properly. Depression is defined by a sustained drop in your emotions. People suffering from depression struggle to find interest or joy and often feel low, apathetic, and hopeless over a prolonged period. However it is a treatable condition and with proper treatment, the person can overcome the low mood and live a happier and a more productive life.

What to keep in mind

People suffering from a depressive disorder can often feel very isolated and alone, believing themselves to be incapable of recovery and feeling like a burden to their loved ones.

If you are talking to a loved one about concerns you have about their mood, take the time to prepare your approach so that you meet them in a loving, understanding, and non-judgemental way.

Types of depressive disorders

Major depressive disorder is the most common type, but there are other types including premenstrual dysphoric disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and substance/medication induced depressive disorder.

Different types of depressive disorders include:

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Our general self-assessments can help you better understand and reflect on what you're experiencing, and find the assistance you may need.

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Treatment programme for depressive disorders

Netcare Akeso’s general psychiatry programme is specifically equipped to help individuals and their loved ones cope with, and recover from, depression by providing them with an integrated treatment programme within a safe environment to facilitate and encourage recovery. We equip patients and their loved ones with the tools they need to help them manage their lives going forward.

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