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Learn more about Depression

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder, and affects millions of people worldwide, and is one of the leading causes of disability. In Hong Kong, as many as 1 in 4 people suffer from depression or anxiety.

Feelings of sadness, low mood and hopelessness may occur in many people. Depression is not just feeling sad; it can be a very debilitating disorder. When these feelings persist and start to affect daily activities like eating, sleeping and working, or cause physical symptoms, these may be signs of depression.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression is diagnosed when they show symptoms for at least two weeks. Common symptoms include the following:
- Change in sleep patterns (can be more or less than usual)
- Changes in appetite (can be overeating or loss of appetite)
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Low energy levels
- Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable
- Sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt
- Moving or speaking slowly
- Having suicidal thoughts or ideas
- Physical pain and generalized discomfort

What are the causes of depression?

There are many causes of depression. Almost anyone can suffer depression, regardless of age, gender, race and socioeconomic status. The causes of depression are multifactorial, including biological, psychological, environmental and genetic factors. Unfortunately, there are certain risk factors that increases the risk of developing depression. These include having a family history of depression or mental health disorders, having experienced major life or traumatic events, personal history of mental health disorders or chronic illnesses, and females are also more likely to suffer from depression than men.

Regardless, it is important to remember that for anyone suffering from depression, it is never their fault, and the symptoms are often out of their control. Depression can manifest in many different ways so understanding this disorder is essential, and will help you identify if you, your family or friends exhibit these symptoms.

What are the treatment options?

After being diagnosed with depression, the optimal treatment for depression is different for every person. These strategies may often be combined to improve treatment efficacy for some people, and they are listed below:
- psychotherapy with a therapist
- medication with antidepressants
- lifestyle changes
- self-help strategies

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a very effective way of managing depression. Having an experienced therapist to talk to can make a big difference. Therapy sessions allow a safe space to express thoughts and feelings, and your therapist will be there to listen and guide you through your tough times.

Common types of therapy include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy, just to name a few. The choice of therapy depends on every person's needs, circumstances and disorder. Therapists often combine different skills and approaches to personalise treatment for every person.

How can Soulgood help?

Soulgood provides a comprehensive one-stop online platform for therapy. Through matching you with a therapist based on your needs, to providing therapy through text messaging, online video counselling, as well as self help exercises, and even liaising with psychiatrists if necessary, we provide a streamlined experience. You can learn more about our services on our webpage, or by signing up and talking to our customer support team for free.
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