09-23 | Rachael
“I am feeling depressed,” is an often repeated phrase these days. However, not everyone understands the reality of depression as an illness. Coupled with the fact that mental illnesses are still relatively misunderstood and stigmatized, not many can recognize the signs and seek necessary help in time.
As per the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.6 percent of Americans aged 12 years and older suffered from mild to severe symptoms of depression during the period. Depression, in fact, is one the leading causes of disability-adjusted life years (DALY’s) lost globally and regionally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). By 2030, it is projected to be amongst the top three causes of DALY’s lost globally.
To recognize depression and to take help opportunely, it is essential to know a few things about the condition and separate facts from myth. Listed below are a few facts for a ready reckoner.
According to the WHO, depression affects an estimated 350 million people globally and is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. It strikes people across all age groups and economic status. However, it afflicts women more than men.
People often mistake normal mood swings and feeling low because of an immediate problem, as depression. However, depression is an illness and the person afflicted with it can feel persistently sad, even without a legitimate reason, for a long period of time. It can alter the personality, interests, the way a person thinks or how he perceives the present or the future. It also adversely affects a person’s productivity, whether at work or at home. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), 90 percent of people suffering from depression report difficulty with work, home and social activities due to their symptoms.
Apart from the emotional component, a person may experience loss of appetite, disrupted sleep, and headaches. It is characterized by fatigue, feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, loss of interest, and concentration, amongst others.
Depression is not a choice that people make but is an illness. It is the result of a complex interaction of social, psychological, biological, and genetic factors. An adverse life event can trigger it which can further lead to worsening of a person’s condition.
Prejudice against mental illness is commonplace. Due to this, people with mental disorders are doubly challenged. On the one hand, they have to deal with the sickness itself and on the other with the misconception and resulting discrimination. This is one of the leading factors that prevent them from seeking help. Mental health terms are often used casually or as an insult leading to the perpetuation of misconceptions regarding disorders such as depression.
Depression can be effectively treated and a person afflicted with it can lead a normal and productive life. It is like any other illness such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which needs timely intervention and appropriate treatment. According to the WHO, some factors that prevent people from receiving the right treatment are stigma, inadequately trained medical professionals, and incorrect diagnosis.
If left untreated, depression can lead to suicide. According to the CDC, nearly 41,000 people die of suicide every year and it is the 10th leading cause of deaths in the U.S. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms of depression and get proper medical care.
If you or your loved one is suffering from depression, get in touch with the Depression Treatment Helpline of Colorado to find the best options for depression treatment in Colorado. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-427-5668 or chat online to know about various depression treatment centers in Colorado.