World Health Day: Let’s Talk About Depression

Just before 24-year-old Arjun Bhardwaj took that fatal plunge from the 19th storey of a posh 5-star hotel in Mumbai, he posted a video tutorial on how to commit suicide. Ironically, the 3rd year B.Sc student ended his life a few days prior to World Health Day (April 7) which is focusing on mental health. Initial reports reveal he was addicted to online gambling and drugs as a result of which his studies were suffering. Friends claim they rescued him twice from similar situations and state that he was depressed. The video itself shows a haggard, anxious, jittery youth. What kind of depression was he going through?

In India, about 56 million people suffer from depression which is about 4.5 percent of  the population and another 38 million  suffer from other anxiety related disorders.

According to the latest WHO report published recently, about 7.5 per cent of Indians suffer from depression related mental illness that requires expert intervention.


“Everyone experiences feelings of depression at one time or another and each person’s experience of depression is different as there are a wide variety of symptoms. Many people feel down occasionally, or go through bad patches, but have areas in their lives that make them feel good. For some people though, life is more of a struggle: they feel bad about themselves and their lives in most ways. At times they feel complete despair. If you feel like this, then you may be depressed.”

Director of Atmantan Wellness talks about the different kinds of depression. Here are

The 7 Types of Anxiety and Depression


Type 1: Pure Anxiety

Pure anxiety results from too much of activity in the basal ganglia( a group of nuclei located at the base of the brain) and low levels of neurotransmitter GABA(which  contributes to motor control, vision, and also regulates anxiety).. Common symptoms of pure anxiety include nervousness or anxiety, panic attacks, self-doubt, excessive fear and anticipating the worst. They also suffer from the physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, hand tremors, heart pounding, nausea, dizziness, nail biting, headaches, abdominal pain and shortness of breath. Their symptoms may be a consistently disruptive problem or may come in unpredictable waves.

Type 2: Pure Depression

Pure depression often results from excessive activity in the emotional center of your brain known as the limbic system. Such people  usually have low dopamine secretions. This type of anxiety and depression is associated with primary depressive symptoms that range from chronic mild sadness or negativity to crippling major depression ,where it is  difficult to even get out of bed.

Such people  also demonstrate a loss of interest in things that are usually pleasurable,  often feel isolation or loneliness, sleep or appetite changes, low energy, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts.

Type 3: Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder (MADD)

It is not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Recognition of mixed anxiety-depressive disorder as a mental health disorder is relatively new. However, the combination of depression and  anxiety disorder has been long recognized as commonly afflicting many people.

In this combination of both pure anxiety and pure depression, while both symptom clusters are present on a regular basis, one type may predominate at any point in time. Mixed anxiety and depression is very common.

Type 4: Over focused Anxiety and Depression

With this type, we tend to see features of anxiety and depression, plus a tendency to get stuck on anxious or depressing thoughts or negative behaviors. Common symptoms include any of the following:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Being argumentative
  • Tendency for addictive behavior
  • Holding grudges against persons
  • Wanting to have things done in certain way and getting upset
  • Dislike changes and hold on to own opinion.

Typically, over focused anxiety and depression is caused by too much activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus( a major part of the limbic system which controls emotion and behaviour) and lower serotonin levels.

Type 5: Temporal Lobe Anxiety and Depression

The temporal lobes are very impor­tant for memory, moods, and emotions:problems in this part of the brain can cause people to have mood instability, irritability, mem­ory problems.

Patients can experience any of the following symptoms

  • Misinterpretation of comments as always negative
  • State of confusion
  • Changes in visual or auditory functions.
  • Frequent periods of déjà vu
  • Mild paranoia
  • May have a history of head injury
  • Forgetfulness or memory problems

Type 6: Cyclic Anxiety and Depression

A person with cyclical anxiety and depression disorder has no control over symptoms. This type is commonly manifested as bipolar disorder, cyclothymia (mild mood swings), seasonal mood changes, and severe PMS especially among the teenagers because they are episodic and unpredictable. Continued stress can also trigger a cyclic anxiety depression reaction. Cyclic anxiety and depression is a spectrum disor­der, meaning it may be a mild form, a very severe form, or anything in between.

Type 7: Unfocused Anxiety and Depression

Commonly  this is because of reduced blood supply to the frontal lobe resulting in decreased activity in the brain, especially in the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that helps with attention, forethoughts, impulse control, organiza­tion, motivation, and planning. People with unfocused anxiety and depression suffer from low energy levels, being inattentive, bored and impulsive and make poor decisions. The causes of the lower activity in the brain may be the result of an injury, toxic exposure, infec­tion, drug induced or an underlying medi­cal illness.

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