We have all heard of the word depression and claim to understand its meaning.  Nevertheless, those suffering from major depressive disorder express that the people  around them do not understand the significance of this condition. When it comes to  depression, it is a mood disorder characterised by persistent feelings of hopelessness  and sadness. Additionally, to be diagnosed, one needs to experience five symptoms  from the following for at least two weeks (Truschel, 2022). 

1. Significant change in weight (loss or gain)  

2. Persistent sadness.  

3. Loss of interest in activities  

4. Loss of energy  

5. Inability to concentrate  

6. Reduced physical movement  

7. Recurrent suicidal thoughts.  

8. Feeling worthless  

Depression is not just Sadness

The Degrees of Depression

There are varying degrees of depression, and different people have different responses  to these intense feelings; with some seeking help and others attempting to hide their  symptoms. When one doesn’t seek help, the feelings may become overwhelming and  might lead to suicide. It is important to remember that suicidal thoughts and ideations 

are a symptom of depression itself and hence professional help can help you treat this  illness. 

Depression is not a sign of weakness and even if it cannot be cured, it can be  treated through counselling, exercise and medication (Haltiwanger, 2014). Nevertheless,  it is important to keep in mind that it might take time for one to find the combination of  treatment that is beneficial for the person’s individual needs. Additionally,  antidepressants require a minimum of 4 weeks until they start working. Thus, one needs  to be patient and allow the process to work. Those on antidepressants should be  monitored closely because increased suicidal thoughts might occur at the start of  treatment or when there are any changes (“Depression”, 2021). 

Why is it a ‘silent killer’?

Depression is known as a silent killer when left untreated. It could lead to physical  symptoms such as obesity and sleep disturbance as well as other mental health  disorders including the progression into major depressive disorder and anxiety. If you  feel that you fit the criteria for depression seek professional help and surround yourself  with loved ones who can support you (Goswani, 2018). 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here

Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling.  She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations,  bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as  a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any  surfacing issues.


1. Depression. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2021). Retrieved 8 July  2022, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression. 2. Goswani, H. (2018). How Depression May Be Harming Your Health. Resources To  Recover. Retrieved 8 July 2022, from https://www.rtor.org/2018/07/12/how depression-harms-your-health/. 

3. Haltiwanger, J. (2014). A Silent Killer: 10 Reasons Why Depression Is Nothing At All  Like You Think It Is. Elite Daily. Retrieved 5 July 2022, from https:// www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/depression-mental-illness-help/706413. 

4. Truschel, J. (2022). Depression Definition and DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria. Psycom.net  – Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1996. Retrieved 5 July 2022, from  https://www.psycom.net/depression/major-depressive-disorder/dsm-5- depression-criteria.