Depression is a widespread mental illness that causes intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness and personal emptiness. It can be brought on by stress, regret, trauma, loss or even a genetic predisposition to developing the disease. People who are suffering from depression often present with chronic fatigue or appetite changes. They may also experience social disassociation in an attempt to isolate themselves from other people. Fortunately, mental health care is available to help people who suffer from depression. But despite the wide availability of treatments, less than half of depression sufferers seek help for their condition.
Did you know…
that depression is estimated to affect roughly 1 in 10 American adults? The Centers for Disease Control reports that this mental illness can be found in people of all ages and backgrounds, although it seems to be more prevalent within certain populations. Those at heightened risk of depression include:
- People between the ages of 45 – 64
- African Americans and Hispanics
- People without a high school diploma
- Divorced or widowed people
- Unemployed individuals
- Uninsured people without health coverage
Frequently Asked Questions
Could I need treatment for depression?
If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, seek help immediately. Not only does the illness produce a host of negative symptoms that may worsen with time, but it can also lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control report that depression can have an adverse effect on the long-term outcomes of chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
What should I expect during depression treatment?
If you seek psychiatric care for depression, you’ll avoid the need to get anti-depressants from a doctor and therapy from a psychologist or counselor. Instead, your provider will be able to talk with you and educate you about the disease you are suffering from. Whether you experience chronic and severe depression or periodic episodes, your provider will help you better understand that you are not being judged for your feelings and that no amount of right-thinking or willpower can heal depression.
Will I need to make any lifestyle changes to facilitate my treatment?
In addition to taking any medications you are prescribed, you’ll need to continue visiting your provider for follow-up appointments. In between visits, your provider may recommend engaging in more exercise, getting more sunlight, or practicing meditation.