November 22, 2014

About Depression – The Facts May Surprise You

It is important to know as much information about depression as possible because there is a lot of inaccurate information out there about it.

Who Gets Depression

Depression is a medical illness that is thought to affect between 17 and 19 million people at any given time. Approximately 10 million of those people have what is called major or clinical depression.

Depression affects both men and women and can strike at any age. It can affect  children, teenagers, and the elderly.  It affects people at every socio-economic level including famous people.

Not everyone gets clinically depressed during their life and for those who do it may just be a one time event. Some people may have just one episode of what is defined as clinical depression in their life time while others may experience multiple occurrences of depression. People who experience depression at least once have increased chances of developing it again.

For example, if a woman suffers from either depression during pregnancy or postpartum depression she is more likely to experience depression during or after future pregnancies.

How Does Depression Work

There is dispute over just how depression occurs in the brain and how it can be stopped. While experts don’t know for sure how it works now, there is ongoing research as to how the various brain chemicals interact so that depression can be more accurately treated.

The Causes of Depression

While there are no set causes of clinical depression – the cause varies based on the individual – there are some risk factors that make a person at greater risk for the disorder.

Depression can be caused by significant life events like the death of a loved one or marriage, stress, chronic pain, or even medication that a person takes. It can also strike without warning in the case of those who have bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can induce a range of moods from high to low in the case of manic depression or manifest as a depressive disorder only. People who have a close relative with bipolar disorder have a greater chance of developing it. Also, people who are closely related to someone with one of the mood disorders are more susceptible to depression.

Symptoms of Depression

The symptoms of depression vary based on the individual as well but common symptoms include but are not limited to: feelings of hopelessness, loss of enjoyment in life, change in sleep patterns – either sleeping more than normal or experiencing insomnia, changes in appetite and weight, and thoughts of suicide or self harm.

Treatment for Depression

Help is available for people who suffer from depression. It can be treated. If you have depression or think you do, you should contact your doctor or medical professional so he or she can make an accurate diagnosis of this disorder. The ability to effectively manage this condition is available even if one has a serious form of it.

The type of treatment will be determined by the individual with help from his or her medical professional. The main treatments for depression include the prescription of antidepressant drugs and cognitive behavioral therapy – either in private counseling or support groups, depending on the need of the individual.

Antidepressants are a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Although most people don’t experience problems, for some people dealing with antidepressant side effects may make that form of treatment unavailable.

Some Depression Facts

Women get depression twice as often as men do.

The rate of depression being diagnosed in children is growing.

Approximately 15% of depressed people commit suicide.

Only 20% of people with depression disorder seek treatment. Many people with this condition try to deal with it themselves which often doesn’t work and can cause the depression to get worse.

Antidepressants work for between 30-45% of people who take it.

If You Have Depression or Think You May Have It

Find a doctor and get help. Depression is not your fault. It can be treated. There are resources available to help you get better. Let someone help you feel better. You are worth it.

 

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