Depression: Key things to know about it
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 occurs at any age it often develops between the ages of 25 and 44 years of age.
Depression and bipolar disorders (called manic depression) are both considered mood disorders. Much more information on depression and bipolar disorder can be found in our Mental Health Channel. At the end of the section on bipolar disorders is a list of highly successful famous individuals who have had depression or bipolar disorders.