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What is Depression?
Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, with significant impacts in all populations and ethnic groups. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations or short-lived emotional responses and often presents itself in episodes with varying intensity. Although there are known treatments for some forms of depression, there is a serious deficit of widely applicable and effective depression treatments.
People who have gone through traumatic and stressful events are more likely to develop depression. Depression can, in turn, lead to more stress and dysfunction and worsen the affected person's life situation and depression itself. Chronic stress, in particular, may drive cellular stresses, which contribute to the development of depression. Some researchers hypothesize that these cellular stresses damage nerve cell's ability to repair themselves through disruptions to critical biological processes. Anavex Life Sciences is developing therapies that protect neurons from cellular stresses and return them to homeostasis, helping people recover more effectively.
Signs & Symptoms
Depression can manifest through several symptoms with varying severity. The disease may involve chronic, repeated depressive episodes where the person experiences depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to diminished activity for at least two weeks.
Depression can be a debilitating condition.
Many people with depression also suffer from anxiety symptoms, disturbed sleep, and appetite. They may have feelings of guilt or low self-worth, poor concentration, and even symptoms that a medical diagnosis cannot explain.
Worldwide, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. This number may be much higher than estimated due to stigma against mental health reporting in many societies. Some researchers call depression the "hidden pandemic."