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Dr. Pavan Sonar, Psychiatrist & Sexologist, Mumbai

Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychosexual Consultant,Counsellor; Life Coach

What is Depression ?

Best Depression Advice




As a psychiatrist & counsellor treating depression & anxiety in Mumbai, noticed that this illness is going at the top of all illnesses day by day, not only in Mumbai like metros, but all over India.

Nearly every thirteenth person in India runs at the risk of developing an episode of depression during his lifetime, according to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation(WHO). 

According to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), chances of an individual developing an episode of depression during the lifetime is nine percent (9%) in India. According to WHO, depression is slated to become the second leading cause of death and disability across the world by 2020.

As per WHO, the average age of depression in India is 31.9 years. However, the onset of the disease varies among different age- groups in India.

Depression can affect anyone, regardless of the person's success, financial situation or relationships. But , it most often appears for the first time during the prime of a person's life - from ages 24 to 44. One in four women and one in ten men will experience depression at some point in their lives.

Depression can be childhood depression, adolescent depression or old age depression. No age is immune to depression.



The most important aspect of dealing with depression is to spot it and consequently help the person overcome it. The signs of depression include sad mood, constant lethargy, lack of interest, easy irritability, disturbed sleep and appetite, negative thoughts such as low self-confidence, ideas of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness. A person may be unable to hold tears most of the times. In severe depression , he or she may get suicidal feelings.



Depression can be caused primarily due to following factors.

• Biochemistry - deficiencies/irregularities in transport  in two chemicals in the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine, are thought to be responsible for certain symptoms of depression, including anxiety, irritability and fatigue.

• Genetics - depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other twin has a 70 per cent chance of also having the problem sometime in life.

• Personality / Nature - people with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic, appear to be vulnerable to depression. Finally,

• Environmental /Social factors - continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, examination stress or poverty may make people who are already susceptible to depression all the more vulnerable to the illness.

• Certain medical conditions like thyroid disorders ,diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, pregnancy ,postpartum period & cancer are also associated with depression. At times a grief or loss of someone beloved can become a severe depression.



Family and social support, early identification of symptoms and their timely management, plenty of positive opportunities to grow and nurture one's positive interests, timely and appropriate professional psychiatric help and needful medication with counselling support are very crucial for the well-being of a person suffering from depression.


Dealing with suicidal persons -                            

Since a depressed individual might also be susceptible to suicidal tendencies, it is also necessary to make sure that he or she does not end up harming himself/herself. If someone is expressing suicidal ideas ,please listen them carefully. Many people think that a person is just threatening or morally weak & so they minimize the sufferings or ignore persons having suicidal ideas. This can be a big mistake. Try to understand the suicidal person empathically. 

How can one curb these suicidal tendencies? some measures - these can be religious, by thinking that the act of self-induced death is a sin. These can be ethical and moral where the individual thinks that it is a wrong thing to do. Also, personal factors like not wanting to be remembered as a weak person could also act as counters. But most important are social counters where family, children, spouse and social relations, and their thoughts make one stop from harming the self.

Suicide has always been a puzzle to the world as to why would a person lead to self death. There have been several explanations that tend to mystify, sometimes glamourise, but most of the time mislead the common man. Whenever we talk of suicide we tend to look only into the immediate cause and assume that's the only reason. We need to realise that what we see superficially may not be the only reason. A suicide may not be a sudden act most of the times.


The efforts to fight depression will remain futile unless social stigma and ignorance attached to depression & suicide are removed.

Feeling Suicidal ?

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Psychiatrist in Andheri / Juhu / Kandivali / Borivali

Dr.Pavan A. Sonar is consultant psychiatrist , psychotherapist , sexologist & counselor, providing  services to the patients & clients in the area of Mumbai suburbs. He has been serving areas including Andheri, Lokhandwala, Juhu, Goregaon ,Malad, Kandivali, Borivali & Dahisar.