Down with the Blues: 5 Things You May Not Have Known About Depression

Depres­sion is a men­tal ill­ness that affects mil­lions of peo­ple each year. Accord­ing to the Anx­i­ety and Depres­sion Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, depres­sion is “a con­di­tion in which a per­son feels dis­cour­aged, sad, hope­less, unmo­ti­vated, or dis­in­ter­ested in life in gen­eral.” These symp­toms can last from two weeks to two years. Here are 5 facts about depres­sion that you may have known.

  1. There are var­i­ous forms of depres­sion, based on what kind of symp­toms you are expe­ri­enc­ing. Some vari­a­tions are: major depres­sion, bipo­lar depres­sion, Sea­sonal Affec­tive Dis­or­der (SAD), melan­cho­lia, psy­chotic depres­sion, ante­na­tal and post­na­tal depres­sion, psy­chotic depres­sion, cyclothymic dis­or­der, and dys­thymic disorder.
  2. About 6.7% of Amer­i­can adults will expe­ri­ence major depres­sion each year.
  3. Women are more likely to be depressed than men.
  4. As of 2012, over 80% of peo­ple who have major depres­sion are not get­ting help for it.
  5. About half of the peo­ple that are diag­nosed with depres­sion also have an anx­i­ety disorder.

You can have your bad days–we all do. But if you are expe­ri­enc­ing the fol­low­ing symp­toms con­stantly (or longer than two weeks), you may need help.

  • Feel­ing hope­less, sad, anx­ious, guilty, angry or annoyed, “empty”, worth­less, or overwhelmed
  • No desire to do any­thing that you used to like to do
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • Phys­i­cal aches or pains
  • Thoughts of sui­cide or long­ing for death.

If you are expe­ri­enc­ing any of these symp­toms, seek help as soon as possible.