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Facts About Depression - And Why They Matter

Updated on March 10, 2016
Depression Is  Treatable
Depression Is Treatable

The Facts About Depression

  • Depression afflicts more than 17.5 million people.
  • Clinical depression and anxiety rank among the most serious health concerns in the United States.
  • Major depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.
  • Two thirds people suffering depression go untreated. Stigma and embarrassment prevent them from seeking treatment at all.
  • Women suffer depression twice as much as men.
  • At least 15% of depressed people will commit suicide.
  • Depression effects people of all races, incomes, ages, and ethnic and religious backgrounds.

What Depression Looks Like

There are many people who have never experienced the darkness of deep depression. Unfortunately there are those that have been so seriously depressed they require hospitalization and medication, in the hopes they will find some comfort. Not everyone recognizes depression as a serious condition that needs attention. And the old "just snap out of it" is not the response depressed people are looking for to feel better. When a person is in a serious depression, thinking positive thoughts alone isn't going to make it go away.

Understanding, and compassion are greatly welcomed from those that do not comprehend what it signifies to be severely depressed. Knowledge and dispersing depression information will help those that are afflicted and in need of immediate help.

  • Depression is a debilitating entire body illness that can be temporary or permanent.
  • Depression may be caused by a chemical imbalance, genetic factors, psychological predisposition, physical factors, and environmental stressors.
  • Depression is also more probable to occur in people affected by high levels of stress.

Symptoms Of Depression Can Include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Worthlessness
  • Feelings of uselessness
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Changes in appetite Suicidal thoughts

Depression at it's worst can leave those suffering severely despondent and dangerously isolated. They may wish they no longer existed, believing suicide is the only way to feel better. When severely depressed, it is a battle just to maintain an everyday routine. No one in their lifetime should have to ever experience that level of depression. It is a tragic reality that many people feel such severe symptoms of depression.

Unfortunately the saddest part of depression is you do not just get over it, or become cured by thinking positive thoughts. Jumping back up on the horse is not always possible when you are in the grips of darkness and despair. This hopelessness can persist until you decide to seek out treatment for your depression.

It is hard to establish a depression if you have another mood disorder such as bipolar. However it isn't impossible to recognize what triggers a depression. Family trouble, stress, a death, divorce, job loss or any number of stressful situations. When you start to feel stress finding ways to eliminate it or do something to deal with it before you spiral into a deeper depression.

It is important you try to consistently monitor your cycles of depression. One option for someone suffering with severe depression is to think about seeing a professional doctor, psychiatrist or a therapist that specializes in depressive disorders. Discuss your feelings and let them give you suggestions on how to manage your depression. Local support groups are also an option to consider. Being around people that get what you are going through can often be very supportive. And lastly taking a prescribed medication can be helpful with managing a depression.

Severe depression is like being in a dark hole that you cannot climb out of. It immobilizes you, you may feel like staying in bed, contemplating your death as your only option. Emotions can overwhelm you. You caress sadness like a blanket, it is unrelenting. You may begin to shun your friends and family. Avoid all human contact altogether. Your hygiene habits go unnoticed, they are more often than not, the last thing your concerned about. Staying in bed sleeping, is all you feel like doing. Logic tells you that getting up and do something would help, however you just cannot.

There is hope, you don't have to suffer alone
There is hope, you don't have to suffer alone

Tips That Matter

There are many treatment options available for depression if you seek them out. There are a variety of antidepressant medications that help battle depression. Psychotherapy is a great short-term option as well. Reaching out is one of the most important things you can do to begin healing from severe depression. But it isn't always easy to do that, especially when you are severely depressed Because your motivation is missing, and you are filled with hopelessness and see no point in bothering to do anything to help yourself.

Finding the strength to seek out help is crucial. There is always help, you do not need to suffer alone. Let friends and family know what your going through. On-line support groups are excellent for receiving support, message boards & forums, and social networking sites offer an abundance of support. Talk to your Primary Care Provider, they can recommend a therapist or psychiatrist if that is an option you choose. Talk to someone you can trust. A friend, clergy, a hotline can offer suggestions as well. Don't suffer alone.

Places to seek help:

Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance

Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Suicide Hotlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Depression Hotlines

Simple Tasks To Help You Maintain

When you are depressed try setting little goals for yourself each day. Write them out in a journal or try using index cards. Try to accomplish at least one goal each day. The next day try to finish 2. And so on. It will not be easy. But making an effort is essential in climbing out of the hole. You will be accomplishing a goal and improving your situation with every step you take. Goals should be small and realistic. Some goals to set might include the following:

  • Make your bed
  • Take a nice long shower
  • Put on clean clothes
  • Read your mail
  • Do a little housework
  • Exercise for at least 15 minutes
  • Play some online computer games
  • Go outside for a bit of fresh air
  • Write write write
  • Take photographs
  • Listen to music

Attempting to be proactive instead of not doing anything will make give you an incentive to fight your depression. You may not always get it right, but trying is half the battle. Being an advocate of our own mental health is an essential part in fighting to stay focused and live life and achieve wellness and hope for our future.


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