Affecting more than 20 million people in the United States
What is Depression?
Depression can be easily dismissed because no two cases or the symptoms that accompany them look exactly the same. Simply dismissing it as feeling “sad” or “blue” is not taking it as seriously as it needs to be.
This increasingly common mood disorder has a significant impact on the life of the person who is facing it. It affects a person’s mindset, feelings, the day-to-day functioning that comes so naturally otherwise. As a result, these persistent feelings of despair have significant consequences on someone’s mental health and livelihood. There can be broken relationships, job loss, even an increased risk of suicidal ideation and drug or alcohol abuse.
Negative Effects of Depression
If left untreated, depression can have a negative impact on virtually every aspect of your life, including your physical health and relationships. Depression can also lead to isolation. Someone struggling may feel the challenge is far too much for anyone else to bear, even loved ones. Not surprisingly, this tendency to “go it alone” can be detrimental to mental health and in some cases, lead to recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
Depression by the Numbers
- An estimated 11 million adults ages 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment. This number represented 4.5% of all US adults.
- According to The American Psychiatry Association, between 80-90% of those struggling with depression eventually respond well to treatment.
- In the past year, approximately 7 million US adults had at least one major depressive episode.
- Almost 50% of people diagnosed with depression also have an anxiety disorder.
- 7% of men with a lifetime history of depression will die by suicide, while the rate for women is 1%.
- At least 30 to 50% of people who regularly drink too much also suffer from depression.
What to Watch for
While there are common risk factors for depression including family history, major life changes or stressors, the onset of trauma, or substance abuse, depression is no respecter of persons. It can show up any time in almost anyone. So just how can you spot it? Look for these warning signs:
- Distinct changes in someone’s personality including losing interest in the activities/friendships that used to bring joy
- Lack of appetite and weight changes
- Prolonged feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Isolation from family, friends, coworkers
- Difficulty in making decisions or concentrating
- Anger or irritability
- Decrease in performance at work, failure to complete everyday tasks
- Changes in sleep patterns, whether too little or too much
- Suicidal ideation
It’s common for anyone struggling with depression to want clear-cut answers about the disorder’s origins. While there aren’t easy explanations, researchers and healthcare professionals agree that it’s never because of a single factor.
More on depression
To learn more about depression, read some of our recent articles from our blog.
Forging Forward with Hope
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, we’re here to help. Instead of a quick fix, our compassionate team of experts at The Meadows Outpatient Center is waiting to help you continue your journey toward long-term recovery that focuses on the whole person. If you have questions or want to see if The Meadows is a good fit, contact us today.