Silence is not an option

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that is associated with a prolonged feeling of sadness or hopelessness that may lead to emotional and physical problems.
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Symptoms and Diagnosis

A person who is suffering from depression will not show any physical signs, however they should consult a doctor if they notice any emotional symptoms. These emotional symptoms include prolonged sadness, loss of interest in everything, feeling of hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. An uneven sleep schedule may also be a sign of depression (either sleeping too long or not enough). Other symptoms include: constantly feeling tired, unexplained body aches and pains, difficulty thinking or making decisions, and a sudden and significant change in weight.
Since depression has no physical signs or symptoms, there are no physical tests that can prove if someone is depressed or not. For this reason, the most effective way to diagnose a person with depression is to ask them questions about their mood and their lifestyle. The doctor can then determine whether the person is actually suffering from depression or if it is an underlying illness. The questions will also help to determine what kind of treatment the patient requires.
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Stats and Facts

- Approximately 80% of the population of people that have symptoms of clinical depression do not receive or seek any treatment

- 45-64 is the most prevalent age of depression at 4.6% of the total population

- High rates of depression are related to high rates of: obesity, heart disease stroke, sleep disorders, lack of education, less access to medical insurance

- Unemployed and recently divorced people are more likely to experience depression

- Women have higher rates of depression than men (twice as more likely to have depression and symptoms of depression as men the same age)

- People who have been diagnosed with depression spend approximately $22,960 for healthcare per year

Treatment and Recovery

There are 3 different types of treatments for depression: making lifestyle changes, going to therapy, and taking medication.

The first treatment which is making lifestyle changes is recommended for all people with different levels of depression. Therapists and doctors usually recommend for the patient to exercise more because it boosts the "feel-good" chemicals in our brains and also triggers the growth of new brain cells. It is also recommended that the patients eat well-balanced meals and get 7-9 hours of sleep to keep their energy up. Keeping in regular contact with friends and family members has also shown to improve the symptoms of depression. Finally, it is recommended that the patient makes changes in their lives to reduce stress as stress is directly linked to depression.

Seeking therapy is another effective way to treat depression. Talk therapy is effective in getting rid of depression and also preventing it from coming back. Therapists will often refer to your past, present, and future to figure out what is causing your problem and how it can be solved. Therapists will also help you decide on what lifestyle changes you must make.

Medication treatment should be used as the last resort if making lifestyle changes and therapy does not work. Scientists believe that depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. The medications and antidepressants are meant to boost these chemicals to create a balance in the brain and improve the persons mood. Medication treatment is not the most effective treatment because it carries side-effects and does not actually solve the problem. Antidepressants are good at relieving the symptoms of depression, however the depression is still there behind all of the medication and can return.

The type of treatment needed for each patient is different because not every patient is experiencing the same level or type of depression as everyone else.

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