Depression has not always been an illness that was easy to talk about, and to this day it still comes with some stigma. Statistics on depression via the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) show that around 9 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from depression in some form. 3 percent of American adults have been diagnosed with major depression, a severe and long-lasting form of the disease.
Major depression doesn’t just affect adults, as it is believed to be the cause of the majority disability claims for people ages 15 to 44.
What is Depression?
Depression isn’t just a random act of sadness here and there. Depression affects more than a person’s mood.
The CDC defines depression as something that:
- Diminishes a persons’ interest in activities that bring them joy.
- Causes weight gain in some people and weight loss in others.
- Causes fatigue.
- Causes difficulties in concentrating.
- Cause thoughts of suicide.
That is just a sampling of the symptoms, and for a person to be diagnosed with depression they need to have a few of these symptoms persisting for more than just a few days. A bad day does not make one clinically depressed.
The CDC reported in 2011 that the use of antidepressants in the U.S. had increased at an alarming rate of 400 percent over just two decades. Because of this, antidepressants are thought to be the highest used type of medication for people ages 18 to 44.
With depression and the medications for it, the rate of suicide has also gone up. Rates for people aged 35 to 64 went up 28.4 percent from 1999 to 2010.
Treatments for Depression
Left untreated, depression to lead to job loss, permanent disabilities and even death by suicide. There are a couple basic treatments for depression, including medication and the help of a psychologist.
Even severe cases of depression can benefit from treatment. The correct treatment can allow someone suffering from depression to go on and live a healthy life again. There are a few different types of depression and treatment revolves around what the person is diagnosed with.
It is likely anyone suffering from depression that seeks treatment will either have therapy, medication or a combination of both.
Medication treatment is in the form of some sort of antidepressant medication. These drugs work to affect your mood. Medication is not a cure.
Therapy is one of the best ways to help treat depression. The forms of psychotherapy most often used are are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).
The first changes a person’s way of thinking to more positive than negative. The second helps the individual work through personal relationship that could be causing or worsening their depression.
The important thing for depression sufferers to know is that they are not alone and there is help out there. Society is changing with the ability for people to use things like the internet to hide away in their homes and have less actual human contact. This could have something to do with the rise in depression.