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I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

               Depression

 

What is major depression?

 

Depression is a serious medical illness that lasts two weeks or more and interferes with a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoy activities that previously brought pleasure.

 

How prevalent is depression? Depression is a serious illness. In the United States, depression affects approximately 14 million people, according to a national prevalence survey of more than 9,000 people age 18 or older.

 

Is depression a serious disease?

 

Yes. The United States National Institute of Mental Health maintains that, “Depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally.”

Depression causes pain and suffering not only to those who have the disorder, but to those who care about them.

Depression can be a lethal disease leading to more than 1 million deaths from suicide each year. Along with being a huge economic burden, depression is a leading cause of disease burden and disability around the world. Researchers estimate that by the year 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disease burden worldwide.

 

Is there a cure for depression?

 

There is no known cure for depression. However, with effective treatment, many patients can remain symptom free and can lead normal lives.

 

Are some people more likely to become depressed than others?

 

Yes, depression is known to be hereditary so depression may occur in some people who have a particular genetic makeup that makes them more likely to develop depression. However, the exact nature of these genetic characteristics is not known. Other factors may contribute to an individual’s likelihood of experiencing depression.

 

Contributing Factors include:

 

  • Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression

 

  • Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide*

 

  • Depression has no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries

 

  • Researchers estimate that by the year 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disease burden—impact on length and health of lives—worldwide*

 

Additional risk factors include:

 

  • Individuals suffering from certain medical illnesses such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders

 

  • Individuals experiencing serious personal losses, difficult relationships, financial problems, or any stressful changes in life pattern

 

  • Individuals taking certain medications that may increase their vulnerability to depression.

 

 

 

*References

Kessler, RC et al. (2003). JAMA, 289:3095-3105

World Health Organization. Depression Fact Sheet. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/index.html. Accessed February 27, 2013.

World Health Organization. The global burden of disease: 2004 update. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/2004_report_update/en/index.html. Accessed March 12, 2013.

World Health Organization. World Health Report: 2001: Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope. www.who.int/whr/2001/en/whr01_en.pdf. Accessed March 12, 2013.

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