Depression affects an estimated 300 million people of all ages worldwide. It is a common, and serious mood disorder that alters how people think, feel and behave. Unlike being unhappy, depression is an intense feeling of deep sadness and despair that can last for days, weeks and even months. The symptoms of depression can include feelings of hopelessness, rejection, poor concentration, lack of energy, sleepproblems, and sometimes suicidalthoughts. Depression is not a choice, it is an illness.
Depression is a serious medical condition that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affects approximately 8% of the U.S. population ages 12 and up. Although there are effective treatments, less than 50 percent worldwide seek professional help. People may be reluctant to get help for a variety of reasons, such as they think they can overcome depression on their own, or they believe that no one will understand how they feel. There are a lot of myths surrounding depression and the two most common are: depression is triggered by a negative life event, and people who are depressed should find something that makes them happy and “snap out” of the depression. Both misconceptions are not accurate portrayals of depression, and both feed into the stigmatization of the illness.
5 things to know about depression:
5 ways to support someone with depression:
Depression is a real and serious condition. No one chooses to have depression, just like no one chooses to be ill. Odds are most of us know someone, friend or family member, whose life has been affected by depression. The good news is depression is treatable, and people who suffer from it can live happy and productive lives. Treatment is key for learning to live with depression. As a society, it’s time we destigmatize depression, and understand it for what it is – an illness that no one chooses to have in their lifetime.