According to the most recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control Prevention, every year, 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States. The psychiatric industry itself is a $330 billion dollar industry. Despite 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants being filled each year, more than one in 20 Americans report being depressed.
What is depression?
Depression is a common but serious mental health disorder that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status, but it does affect some groups of people more than others. For instance, women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18-25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.
Symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe and may include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite – weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in restless activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Hopelessness about the future.
- Thoughts of suicide.
Severe depression occurs when sad or negative feelings start to interfere with everyday life, preventing someone from functioning normally. A combination of factors are likely to contribute to the disorder, including imbalances in brain chemicals, genetics, and stress.
Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, a brain tumor or vitamin D deficiencies can also mimic symptoms of depression, so it is important to rule out general medical causes.
Many people who have a form of depression disorder often don’t realize they’re suffering, causing them not to seek treatment for the condition.
Suffering from depression is involuntary, just like cancer or diabetes, but it is a treatable disorder that can be managed.
Depression, left untreated, can increase the risk of suicide. It is not uncommon for someone who is depressed to have thoughts about suicide whether or not they intend to act on these thoughts. Surprisingly, severely depressed individuals often do not have the energy to harm themselves, however, it is when their depression lifts and they gain increased energy that they may become more likely to attempt suicide.
According to worldwide projections from the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2030, the amount of disability and life lost from depression will surpass that from war, accidents, cancer, stroke, and heart disease. In fact, WHO reports that for youth aged 10 to 19, depression is already the number-one cause of illness and disability.
If you or someone you know thinks they may be depressed, call Arundel Lodge at (443) 433-5900 and speak with someone today.