Depression is the most common mental illness in the United States. Chronic depression affects approximately 6.7 percent of the population. Depression typically starts during a person’s adult years and affects women more than men. However, anyone can succumb to depressed thoughts originating from unknown causes. Many people who are treated for depression are cured. However, only one-third of the population seeks medical attention.

People are concerned about the mental illness stigma.

One major reason that people do not seek professional help is because they do not want other people to think they are mentally ill. People need to receive more educational information about mental illnesses so that they know these disorders are not signs of character defects. Depression is a serious condition. People suffering from depression need to know that proven treatments give them excellent chances of living normal, happy, productive lives.

The following eight facts demonstrate that depression is a serious medical condition:

1. Depression does not necessarily stem from any outside influences.

Although a variety of factors cause depression, it is difficult to pinpoint one specific cause. However, researchers recognize that extreme stress, including divorce, a death in the family or financial difficulties, often cause people to feel depressed. Furthermore, scientists generally agree that some people are more prone to depression because their parents or grandparents had genes boasting strong proclivities toward inducing depressed mental states.

2. People suffer from a few common types of recognizable depressive disorders.

A person with a major depressive disorder (MDD) lacks self-confidence and feels sad every day for a period lasting at least two weeks. The person feels as though it is impossible to escape from a self-imposed prison of depression. A person with persistent depressive disorder (PDD) has symptoms lasting much longer than two weeks. The individual experiences depressed thoughts and feelings every day for at least two years. However, the manifestations are somewhat milder than the symptoms occurring in an MDD.

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects a mother shortly after she has given birth to her child and typically lasts from two weeks to one year. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is experienced by many people during winter. The disorder stems from the fact that sunlight is not as prevalent during the wintertime.

3. A person may not have all the signs and symptoms.

Depression is a fickle disorder that varies with different people. Some of the general signs of depression include nagging feelings of sadness, a feeling of complete emptiness or even extreme insensitivity. A chronically depressed person may suffer from insomnia or sleep far too many hours in a given day. A depressed individual may lose or gain weight.

The depressed person may lose all interest in enjoyable activities. A depressed person often feels upset for no apparent reason and has problems concentrating. The person may suffer from fatigue. A person suffering from high-functioning depression may not exhibit any physical signs. The individual appears completely normal yet struggles with excruciatingly painful thoughts and emotions.

4. Depression frequently causes physical problems.

The National Institute of Mental Health stresses the fact that some people suffering from depression may also experience frequent headaches, indigestion, shortness of breath and constant stress. The brain of a depressed person actually looks different when compared with the brain of a person who is not depressed. Images clearly demonstrate that the circuits of a depressed person’s brain work in a different way.

5. Young people experiencing depression often commit suicide.

Hopelessness and numbness cause some teenagers to feel as though suicide is the only solution to their problems. One suicide occurs every 12.3 minutes in the United States. In 2014, approximately 42,773 people committed suicide. Luckily, at least 250,000 people survived from their suicidal attempts. It is important to treat the suicidal threats of a depressed person in a serious manner. Any significant threat should trigger an alarm. If the situation of a friend or loved one is urgent, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

6. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that depression is a leading cause of disability in teenagers and adults ranging from 15 to 44 years of age.

People should never regard depression as an insignificant disorder. Depression is debilitating and wreaks havoc on the lives of people who suffer from its symptoms. Depression often affects employees in the United States and has its own negative economic impact on the economy. It is estimated that $80,000,000,000 is lost every year due to the productivity issues that commonly accompany workers who are depressed.

7. Research focused on finding a cure for depression requires additional funding.

Although the same number of people commit suicide as those who are diagnosed with breast cancer, depression only receives a tiny percentage of the annual funding that typically applies to breast cancer research. People who wish to make donations can visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

8. People suffering from severe depression have various treatment options.

Depressed people obtain better results when their disorders are treated during the beginning stages. The two common treatments consist of various types of medicines and therapy sessions. Some people may have stubborn cases requiring additional remedies. Neurofeedback therapy is a drug-free option that may appeal to some people who suffer from depression. Neurocore offers a neurofeedback treatment that may help people suffering from depression and anxiety.

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