- Depression currently affects 18 million Americans and impacts the lives of many more.
- One in every four women and one in every 10 men can expect to develop clinically significant depression in the course of a lifetime. Fewer than one in three of these individuals will seek treatment.
- Depression is treatable. Eighty to 90 percent of depression cases can be treated successfully. Seeking treatment early in the course of a depressive episode may decrease the probability that the illness will become more severe or chronic, and the recurrence of depression.
- People who suffer from depression are 30 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
What is Depression?
Clinical depression goes beyond sadness. It’s not having a bad day, or coping with a major loss, such as the death of a parent, grandparent, or even a favorite pet. It’s not a personal weakness of character flaw. Individuals suffering from depression cannot simply “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”
Depression is a form of mental illness that affects the whole body – it impacts the way one feels, thinks, and acts.
Symptoms of Depression
- persistent depressed mood, including feelings of sadness or emptiness
- loss of interest or pleasure in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyed
- feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
- changes in sleep patterns
- changes in appetite
- decreased energy, increased fatigue
- restlessness and irritability
- difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- thoughts of suicide or death
- persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain, that do not respond to medical treatment and for which no physical cause can be found
Causes of Depression
- genetics and family history
- life events
- physical illness
- low self-esteem
The most commonly used treatments for depression are antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Which of these is right for an individual depends on the nature and severity of the depression and individual preference. ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) is another form of treatment considered very effective for severe depression.
The Path to Healing
- recognize the signs/symptoms of depression
- consult a qualified professional for evaluation
- discuss and choose treatment options
Positive steps to Help Handle your Depression
- exercise regularly
- avoid stress
- maintain a healthy diet
- talk about your feelings – with a friend, family member, support group, and/or professional
More information about Women & Depression available here.
Call us today to see how we can help, (865)970-9800.