Having a Crisis: Do You Know Someone who is Depressed?
Depression is more than a day of feeling low
It is a long-lasting, often recurring illness as real and disabling as heart disease or arthritis. Adults who experience clinical depression may feel an oppressive sense of sadness, fatigue, and guilt. Performing on the job may be difficult...going out with friends may be unthinkable...merely getting out of bed may be impossible. The person who has depression feels increasingly isolated from family and colleagues. They feel helpless, worthless, and lost.
Depression is a very common emotional illness.
In varying degrees of severity, it affects about 6 percent of all U.S. adults, more than nine million people in any given six month period, according to the American Psychiatric Association. At least one in five Americans will experience a major depressive episode during their lifetime, with women twice as likely to develop depression as men.
Modern research has led to significant advances. Today there are extremely effective treatments for depression. Between 80 to 90 percent of those with depression can be successfully treated. Many experience relief from symptoms within three to six weeks. Treatment is generally necessary -- people with depression cannot snap out of it on their own, nor will it go away.
Depression & Suicide
Thoughts of death and suicde are a typical symptom of depression. An estimated 15 percent of those with depression commit suicide, and depression is considered to be the underlying cause in half of all suicides. Because depression can have fatal consequences, treatment should not be delayed. Any mention of suicide -- such as "I wish I were dead," or "Everyone would be better off without me" -- should be taken seriously.