What is depression?

  • Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
  • Depression often interferes with a person’s daily activities.
  • Depression is one of the most common psychiatric illnesses. It can affect anyone.
  • Women are almost twice as likely as men to have depression.

What are the causes of depression?

There is no single cause for depression.

  • Depression might be caused by a dysfunction in the brain chemicals.
  • Environmental factors and stressors put the person at a higher risk of having depression.
  • Heredity might play a role as well. Family members are at a higher risk to develop the disorder than others if they are also affected by environmental stressors.

What are the common symptoms of depression?

Depression may occur only one time during your life, usually people have multiple episodes of depression.
During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:

  • Depressed mood during most of the day.
  • Having no motivation or interest in things.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy.
  • Feeling guilt-ridden.
  • Feeling anxious or worried.
  • Impaired concentration, inability to take decisions.
  • Decreased or increased sleep.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Restlessness.
  • Significant weight loss or gain.

Tests and diagnosis

These exams and tests can help rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms, pinpoint a diagnosis and check for any related complications:

  • Physical exam: Your doctor may do a physical exam and ask questions about your health.
  • Lab tests: Blood test called a complete blood count or test your thyroid to make sure it's functioning properly.
  • Psychological evaluation: Expect your doctor or mental health provider to ask about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire to help answer these questions.
  • DSM-5: Your mental health professional may use the criteria for depression listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Is there a treatment for depression?

Yes. There are several effective treatments for depression. They depend on the severity of the condition. These treatments might be used alone or in combination to achieve the best results.

Common treatments for depression include, but are not limited to:

  • Lifestyle Changes
    • Exercise.
    • Improved nutrition.
    • Sleep regulation.
    • Increased social support.
    • Stress reduction.
  • Medications

    Specific drugs can be used to decrease the symptoms of depression.

  • Psychotherapy

    A process in which a mental health professional talks to you about strategies that help you understand and deal with your depression.

    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a common psychotherapy approach used for depression. It helps you recognize and change thoughts and behaviors that are related to intense feelings of sadness.
  • Brain stimulation such as:
    • Electroconvulsive therapy.
    • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.
    • Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

What happens if depression is not treated?

  • If left untreated, depression might last from weeks to years.
  • It might cause significant disability in the person’s life. It might lead to loss of employment.
  • Severe depression might lead to suicide.

Does my Insurance Policy cover depression?

Yes. According to CCHI unified Policy terms and conditions, health insurance policies in Saudi Arabia cover acute and severe depression.

Please Click Here to access the Unified CCHI Policy Wordings.


"Depression". Diseases and Conditions. N.p., July 2016. Web. Aug. 2017.
"Depression." Clinical Depression - Symptoms. N.p., July 2016. Web. Aug. 2017.
“Depression” Rules’. N.p., n.d. Web. Aug. 2016.