Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity or apathy that can affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, and sense of well-being. It is a very serious and disabling psychiatric condition that occasionally leads to suicide or premature death due to unattended physical problems.

An estimated 676 million (one in ten people) are affected by depression. Worldwide, 804,000 people committed suicide in 2012, making depression one of the leading causes of death in young adults (15- 29 years). Persons with major depression have a 40% greater chance of dying prematurely than the general population.

Dr. Tania Nadeem, a psychiatrist at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), says teenagers suffer from major depressive order which can range from mild to severe levels. She says it results in a lack of concentration, academic decline, reclusive behavior, and at times suicidal thoughts.

Here I am sharing the story of Fifteen-year-old Inara Khan, she was a star student, always at the top of her class. So when her grades started to fall and she became all too negative, her friends did not fully understand what happened. Her mother dismissed it as a phase and Khan herself struggled to come to terms with her lack of interest in everything. After all, it is not unusual for young people to experience “the blues” or feel “down in the dumps” occasionally; adolescence is always an unsettling time with the many physicals, emotional and psychological changes that come our way.

Khan also thought it was part of the same script but after months of feeling down and being unable to concentrate on her activities, she began to consider depression as a possible reason. She traced back her feelings to when her grandfather died, leaving her alone in a family that favored her brothers over her. The realization that she was possibly depressed made her scared and she asked herself: why me?

Mental illness especially depression is growing in youth so rapidly. What we can do is design activities that can help depressed people. Mobile phones are really very common and everyone has one smartphone. We can make a mobile application full of activities that make a depressed person happy and less worried.



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