Depression

Depression

Did You Know That?
According to the National Mental Health Information Center:

  • One in 4 women gets depression at some time in her life
  • Twice as many women as men get depression
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in women
  • Men are more likely than women to commit suicide from depression
  • Depression can be a serious problem in children, teenagers, and the aging population

  • Depression is not a sign of weakness, laziness, or a character problem.
  • Depression is a group of illnesses that come in various forms. Affected individuals have more than occasional “Blue Moods”, or periods of grief after a loss.
  • The cause of depression is not fully understood. It is thought to be related to an imbalance of certain brain chemicals, and often runs in families.
  • Depression may occur suddenly for no apparent reason.
  • Depression may be caused by stress, inadequate social support, and being a victim of sexual and physical abuse.
  • With treatment, most people with serious depression improve a lot within weeks.
  • Without treatment, depression tends to come and go, which interferes with the quality of life of the affected person, and often his/her family. In fact, the symptoms can last for long periods of time, or even a lifetime.
  • Depression, which occurs often and affects people of all races, ethnic groups and social classes, is highly treatable. However, people with this condition are not likely to get better without treatment.
  • Although depression can occur at any age it often develops between the ages of 25 and 44 years of age.

Depression and bipolar disorder (previously called manic depression) are both mood disorders. Information on bipolar disorder can also be found on our Mental Health Channel. This Channel also has a list of highly productive famous individuals who have had depression or bipolar disorders.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression comes in many forms, and usually consists of a combination of emotional and physical symptoms. Examples of each kind of symptoms follow.

Key Emotional Symptoms Key Physical Symptoms
Excessive sadness/crying Headache
Loss of interest Fatigue/loss of energy
Loss of pleasure Sleep disturbance
Difficulty in concentrating Change in appetite & weight
Being overwhelmed Nagging aches and pains
Feeling excessive guilt Backache
Irritability, worry, anxiety Dizziness
Thoughts of suicide  

When a person has several of the above symptoms for more than 2 weeks, he or she probably has depression. Without treatment, depression may interfere with normal functioning. However, with treatment, most people with serious depression improve a lot within weeks.

Early Diagnosis is Very Important!

The earlier depression is diagnosed and treated, the better. Knowing the key emotional and physical symptoms of depression listed above can help with early diagnosis, early treatment, and living a more enjoyable life.

Delayed Treatment of Mood Disorders:

Many people with mood disorders don’t get the help they need for one or more of the reasons below:

  • they don’t know what the symptoms are, or don’t understand them;
  • they may fear associated embarrassment, shame or disgrace.
  • they often don’t know where to go to get help