What is depression?
Major depression is a mood state that goes well beyond temporarily feeling sad or blue. It is a serious medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health. Depression is a life-long condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrences of illness. There are many types of mood disorders that depression can manifest in different forms and for different periods of time.
Each year depression affects 5-8 percent of adults in the United States. This means that about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression this year alone. Depression occurs 70 percent more frequently in women than in men for reasons that are not fully understood. Without treatment, the frequency and severity of these symptoms tend to increase over time. All age groups and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups can experience depression. Though there are commonalities in depression amongst all groups there are subtle differences between children/adolescents and adults.
Left untreated, depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning and even suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers believe that more than one-half of people who die by suicide are experiencing depression. Devastating as this disease may be, it is treatable in most people. The availability of effective treatments and a better understanding of the biological basis for depression may lessen the barriers that can prevent early detection, accurate diagnosis and the decision to seek medical treatment.
If you and or a loved one may be concerned about a possible mood disorder call us today. Start your path to more balance and clarity.