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What is depression?

Depression is a mental illness that makes your mood constantly low. If affects your daily living including your thoughts, feelings, behavior and well being. If not handled effectively it can lead to Suicide.

Why do you get depressed?

Depression can be cause by:

  • Depression can run in the family
  • Stress events
    • Example: Death of a family member; failure in examination or parental breakup
  • Chronic medical illness
    • Example: Epilepsy, asthma and cancer
  • Personality traits
  • Drug abuse
  • Certain prescribed medications
    • Example : steroids, anti cancer drugs

How do you know if you are depressed?

Features of depression include:

  • Feeling sad and tearful
  • Being easily irritable
  • Having low energy
  • Inability to enjoy pleasurable activities
  • Feeling that life is meaningless
  • Frequent bodily complaints
  • Unexplained loss of bodily functions
    • Example: Headache, tiredness or stomach ache
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Preoccupation with Self injurious and Suicide thoughts

How can you help a depressed person?

Steps that can be taken include:

  • Talk to someone you can trust e.g.
    • Parents
    • Trusted family members
    • School counselors
    • Religious teachers
  • Find someone who can
    • Listen
    • Console
    • Give good advice


Seek professional help from:

  • Doctors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists

“Asking for help is the first step toward overcoming depression”.

What happens if no help is given?

There are many dangers when depression is not dealt with. These may include:

  • Physical complications. Example:
    • Underweight or Obesity
    • Disturb menstruation
    • Anemia (looked pale)
  • Psychological complications. Example:
    • Low Self-esteem
    • Self injurious behavior
    • Suicidal risk
  • Social complications. Example:
    • Truancy
    • Poor school performance
    • Drug or alcohol abuse

Where can you get help?

Go to a hospital to seek treatment.

“Depression is a treatable condition”

Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Hj. Mohd Nizam bin Abd Ghani
Reviewer : Dr. Mohd Ariff Bin Mohd Noor