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Why Do I Feel Sad Always?


Feeling sad or unhappy occasionally is a normal part of life. We all encounter negative events, such as the loss of a loved one, a job, or a significant relationship, which can trigger feelings of sadness. However, when these emotions become persistent and start affecting our overall quality of life, they then become problematic. If you get to this point, you would need to see a doctor who would assess you and how you are feeling. Based on the doctor’s findings, you may be diagnosed with depression.

Depression is a mood disorder that significantly impacts the way individuals think, feel, and act. It can lead to various emotional and physical problems, affecting both personal and professional life. To be classified as depression, symptoms must persist for at least two weeks. It is also worth noting that certain conditions such as thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies or brain tumours, may mimic depression.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects over 264 million people worldwide, with a higher prevalence among women. Alarmingly, depression in its most severe form can lead to suicide, with nearly 800,000 lives lost annually, making it the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds globally. Recognizing the signs of depression and seeking prompt treatment is of utmost importance to combat this concerning issue.

Risk Factors For Depression

While anyone can experience depression, certain factors make some individuals more susceptible to this condition. Some of the common risk factors include:

  • Family history: If there is a history of depression or other mood disorders in your family, you may be at higher risk.
  • Early childhood trauma/abuse: Certain traumatic events in childhood can impact the way our bodies react to fear and stress.
  • Medical conditions: Chronic illnesses, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can increase the risk of depression.
  • Substance abuse: A history of drug or alcohol misuse is linked to a higher risk of experiencing depression. About 21% of people with substance use problems also experience depression.
  • Low self-esteem or being self-critical: Negative self-perception can contribute to the development of depression.
  • Personal history of mental illness: Individuals with a history of mental health issues may be more prone to depression.
  • Certain medications: Some medications may have depression as a side effect.
  • Stressful life events: Significant life events such as the loss of a loved one, financial struggles, the birth of a child or relationship breakdowns can trigger depression.
3d rendering emotions
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Symptoms Of Depression

The symptoms of depression can vary among men, women, and children. Being aware of these signs can help identify and address the condition in a timely manner:

Symptoms in Men:

  • Mood: Anger, irritability, restlessness, and anxiousness.
  • Emotional well-being: Feeling empty, sad, or hopeless.
  • Behaviour: Loss of interest in favourite activities, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, and engaging in high-risk activities.
  • Sexual interest: Reduced sexual desire or performance.
  • Cognitive abilities: Difficulty concentrating, delayed responses during conversations, and trouble completing tasks.
  • Sleep patterns: Insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, or inability to sleep through the night.
  • Physical well-being: Fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, and general pains.

Women may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood, such as irritability.
  • Behaviour: Loss of interest in activities, social withdrawal, and thoughts of suicide.
  • cognitive abilities, such as thinking or talking more slowly.
  • Sleep patterns: Difficulty sleeping through the night, early waking, or excessive sleep.
  • Physical well-being: Decreased energy, fatigue, changes in appetite, weight fluctuations, aches, pains, headaches, and increased cramps.

Children may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood: Irritability, anger, mood swings, and crying.
  • Emotional well-being: Feelings of incompetence(e.g.“I can’t do anything right”), despair, intense sadness, and crying.
  • Behaviour: such as getting into trouble at school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings, thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Cognitive abilities: such as difficulty concentrating, decline in school performance, and changes in grades.
  • sleep patterns, such as difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Physical well-being, such as loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain.

Diagnosis And Treatment

You don’t need formal training to recognise some of the symptoms of depression. Once you suspect yourself or anyone is depressed you should report immediately to a professional for proper assessment and diagnosis. A qualified psychologist or doctor can perform a thorough assessment and provide an accurate diagnosis. Once diagnosed, a range of treatments may be recommended, including psychotherapy, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety medications. In some cases, additional medications may be prescribed if underlying conditions contribute to depression.


However, other alternate therapies which others have found to help may include exercise, avoiding alcohol and illicit substances and developing strong boundaries in your professional and personal life (learning to say no with skill).

Depression is not a sign of weakness but a legitimate disease with profound implications for individuals and society as a whole. At Nyaho Medical Centre, we prioritize the early recognition and treatment of depression to ensure the well-being of our patients. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional support and embark on the journey to healing and recovery. Remember, you are not alone, and help is available. Together, we can combat depression and promote mental health for a better tomorrow.


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