What Depression Is, And The Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore


What is depression?  Depression is a kind of mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities. Depression is considered a serious medical condition that can get worse without proper treatment.

One of the most common mental-health issues that people face during their lifetime is depression. Yet it’s also one of the least talked about. Perhaps that is because there tends to be a bit of a stigma around it, and some people just don’t want others to know.

This being said, a lot of people do experience it – at least to some degree. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to be in the hospital battling depression to be experiencing it. Sometimes the person who’s depressed might be your next-door neighbor.

What is depression symptoms?
If you experience some of the following signs and symptoms  nearly every day for at least 2 weeks, you may be living with the disease:

  1. feeling sad, anxious, or “empty”
  2. feeling hopeless, worthless, and pessimistic
  3. crying a lot
  4. feeling bothered, annoyed, or angry
  5. loss of interest in hobbies and interests you once enjoyed
  6. decreased energy or fatigue
  7. difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  8. moving or talking more slowly
  9. difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
  10. appetite or weight changes
  11. chronic physical pain with no clear cause that does not get better with treatment
  12. (headaches, aches or pains, digestive problems, cramps)
  13. thoughts of death, suicide, self-harm, or suicide attempts

Let’s look at some of the depression stats you may want to keep in mind.

Age Range
The median age range for the onset of depression is 32.5 years old. If you stop and think about why, you might consider that this does make sense. For most people, they have an idea of what they want to make of themselves in life. Usually, they have the vision for their future by the time they’ve reached their adult years, are out of school, into their career, and likely married (possibly with kids).

If they reach this point in their life (their early 30s) and are not at all where they thought they’d be, depression can set in.

As you grow older, you also become wiser with life experience and this can provide some protection against the disease. Don’t let yourself believe that you are safe from it just because you are older. Many people who are older still do experience it. If you did suffer from it when you were younger, there is also a higher chance that you will suffer from it again when you are about this age.

Major Depression Is Different

Interestingly enough, the prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode is highest in those who are between the ages of 18 and 25. So, while overall depression is more significant in your early thirties, younger individuals are more likely to  experience serious depression.

This could be due to societal pressures on them or due to the lack of ability to understand when they need to reach out for help.

Male Versus Female
Ever wonder how men and women stack up when it comes to depression? It would appear
as though males are somewhat safeguarded against it. They have an overall prevalence rate of 5.3% while females have an overall prevalence rate of 8.7%.

So, women do get affected more than men. Both genders need to learn the signs and symptoms of depression because it really can strike anyone. It is however important to know what the symptoms are so as to be able to diagnose and call for medical attention before it spirals out of control.

Depression Is Common
To give you an idea of just how prevalent depression is, statistics have noted that up to 300 million people suffer from it worldwide. This makes it one of the most common mental illnesses out there.

Of those 300 million, about 11 million have experienced an episode of the disease that has resulted in major impairment in the last year, meaning they were unable to carry on with normal functioning.

For most people, when it begins to interfere with their ability to do routine daily tasks, that’s when they start to seek out advice. Sadly, though, if they sought help earlier on in the process, they might have prevented it from ever getting quite so serious in the first place.

Other Types Of Depression Can Occur
While normal depression can happen at any time, there are also episodic instances of the disease. For example, postpartum depression can be quite common in women who have just given birth, especially if they don’t have a good support system in place. Many of the women who are experiencing this may have never had the disease before in their life. As such, they are experiencing it for the first time during what may be one of the most life-changing times they’ve ever been through.

Another form of the disease that can occur is seasonal affective disorder, and this can lead to depression. This disorder happens when people become depressed during the darker winter months. Sometimes this can be helped by simply getting more natural daylight (which is something that some people don’t get enough of duringthe winter months). This improves mood and also increases vitamin ‘D’ production in the body.

Approximately 5% of all people in the U.S. experience seasonal depressive disorder.

So, there you have some interesting findings on depression that may help you better understand the condition. It should not be taken lightly and it can strike at any time, so make sure you are doing your due diligence and watch for symptoms that may indicate that it could be developing.

Have you ever had a depressive event in your life? What steps did you take to get help and treatment for it? Please share your experience to encourage those that are battling with it.

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