According to the latest statistics, depression is a serious and common disorder. Moreover, doctors believe that the number of people who are actually affected by the affliction is even higher than the one reported due to the fact that many individuals ignore the signs and choose not to seek professional help.
Latest studies have shown that approximately 1 in 5 Americans deals with a mental illness. Furthermore, 1 in 5 children with ages between 13 and 18 have dealt or will deal with a serious mental condition. The official number of depression sufferers among American adults is sixteen million.
Most people consider depression to be a more prolonged feeling of sadness. This false idea leads to prejudiced behavior that affects the patients even more than the disorder itself.
The most common signs of depression that can be observed by both the patient and his or her family and friends are:
- A deep sadness combined with a lack of pleasure or interest in daily activities that lasts more than two to three weeks.
- A severe mood change, a sign that the behavior of the sufferer has changed.
- Impaired occupational, social, and educational functioning.
- A daily display of at least five of the specific symptoms listed below:
- Irritability or depressed mood that can be either observed by others or self-reported.
- Decreased pleasure or interest in most activities, even the most common ones like showering, eating, etc.
- A notable change in appetite and weight. Any change that is above 5 percent can be considered a significant one.
- Excessive sleepiness or insomnia.
- A change in the regular activity.
- A loss of energy or a prolonged feeling of fatigue.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
- Indecisiveness or a diminished ability to pay attention to something for more than a couple of minutes.
- Suicidal thoughts, including long periods of time, spent contemplating the method or the way in which the world would look like without that person in it.
Depression is a serious and common disorder and awareness must be spread.
According to the CDC, about 50 percent of all lifetime cases of mental problems start to manifest themselves by the age of 14, and 75 percent by the age of 24. Moreover, depression is thought to be the leading cause of disability in the United States.