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What You Need to Know About Depression?

1) There may not be any reason or cause for Depression.

Depression is often misunderstood as just feeling sad, but it is a complex medical condition. Sometimes people may feel depressed due to obvious reason. Most common stressors known are Career setback, relationship breakup, losing loved ones, etc. However, in many instances there doesn’t have to be a reason for how you feel. Our mood is regulated by chemicals in brain which if gets out of balance, it can make one feel bad even though when everything is going well.

2) The cause is Multi factorial.

It can never have a single causing factor. According to research the cause for depression is always multi-factorial. It is caused by combination of factors, such as environmental factors, genetic tendency towards depression, individuals coping abilities against stress, social support, etc.

3) Sadness is not Depression!

Being sad is very normal. Sadness is a normal emotional response to pain. Depression however is an illness that comprises certain set of symptoms, and most importantly, it causes difficulties in functioning at work, home and in society.

4) Depression can happen to all age groups.

No particular age-group is immune to Depression. Depression in adults is a well known fact. However, the trend of depression in children is increasing at an alarming rate in recent times. Struggle for peer acceptance, bullying in school are some unique stresses found to result depression in children.

5) Depression is real like any other medical illness.

Depression is not a sign of weakness, but it is a clinical entity, a medical illness. It can happen to anyone. It is now scientifically proven that an underlying chemical imbalance in the brain neuronal circuitry is a direct cause for depression. These chemicals are known as Neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters regulate our mood and emotional state.

6) Can Depression be treated? Yes!

Depression is like any other medical illness. It is definitely treatable. The treatment includes medications and psychotherapy. There has been major advances in the medications with minimal side effects and larger benefits.

7) It can worsen if not treated.

Depression is a leading most cause for disability. It is most common cause for suicide. According to recent Mental Health Survey, 90 percent of those committing suicide are suffering from mental illness.

Woebot – Your AI Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and it can be fatal. The major challenge in the treatment of depression is that people are still afraid to speak openly about it. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent speech ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has advised people to come out and speak about their battle with depression.

With the rising burden of the illness as in-person therapy with a doctor isn’t always an option. A new chatbot app, Woebot, could be an alternative.

What is Woebot?

Woebot is an automated chatbot that helps people monitor their mood and help them to know about themselves. It basically works on a framework of CBT- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, wherein it helps people to keep track of their feelings and triggering events. Woebot asks people about their daily experiences and records them in format of brief conversations.
A review of studies published recently in the journal World Psychiatry compared people who received CBT online to people who did it in person, and found that the online setting was just as effective.

Woebot, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot designed using cognitive behavioral therapy is not a replacement for the traditional therapy, but addition to clinical approaches to treating depression.