Depression Is Real

Posted on 04/30/2007. Filed under: depression, mental health, univeral health care |

I suffer from clinical depression and sometimes even when you are working with doctors and therapist it can get away from you. This is one of the reason we need universal health care that include equal parity for mental health. We also need better understanding about these issues so that people who are suffering from them are not afraid to reach out to others.

Here are just a few facts about depression:

Depression

Depression is a treatable illness involving an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness. You can’t make yourself well by trying to “snap out of it.” Although it can run in families, you can’t catch it from someone else. The direct causes of the illness are unclear, however it is known that body chemistry can bring on a depressive disorder, due to experiencing a traumatic event, hormonal changes, altered health habits, the presence of another illness or substance abuse.

Symptoms

  * Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
* Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
* Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
* Pessimism, indifference
* Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
* Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
* Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
* Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
* Unexplained aches and pains
  * Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Who Gets Depression?

* Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27)
* While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32. (U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates by Demographic Characteristics, 2005)
* Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003; Jun 18;289(23):3095-105.)
* As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents have clinical depression. (Center for Mental Health Services, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1996)
* People with depression are four times as likely to develop a heart attack than those without a history of the illness. After a heart attack they are at a significantly increased risk of death or second heart attack. (National Institute of Mental Health, 1998)

Economic Impact of Depression

* Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44. (World Health Organization, 2004)
  *
Major depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide among persons five and older. (World Health Organization, “Global Burden of Disease,” 1996)
* Depression’s annual toll on U.S. businesses amounts to about $70 billion in medical expenditures, lost productivity and other costs. Depression accounts for close to $12 billion in lost workdays each year. Additionally, more than $11 billion in other costs accrue from decreased productivity due to symptoms that sap energy, affect work habits, cause problems with concentration, memory, and decision-making. (The Wall Street Journal, 2001, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999)
* Depression ranks among the top three workplace issues, following only family crisis and stress. (Employee Assistance Professionals Association Survey, 1996)

Depression and Suicide

* Depression is the cause of over two-thirds of the 30,000 reported suicides in the U.S. each year. (White House Conference on Mental Health, 1999)
* For every two homicides committed in the United States, there are three suicides.
* The suicide rate for older adults is more than 50% higher than the rate for the nation as a whole. Up to two-thirds of older adult suicides are attributed to untreated or misdiagnosed depression. (American Society on Aging, 1998)
* Untreated depression is the number one risk for suicide among youth. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year olds and the fourth leading cause of death in 10 to 14 year olds. Young males age 15 to 24 are at highest risk for suicide, with a ratio of males to females at 7:1. (American Association of Suicidology, 1996)
* The death rate from suicide (11.3 per 100,000 population) remains higher than the death rate for chronic liver disease, Alzheimer’s, homicide, arteriosclerosis or hypertension. (Deaths: Final Data for 1998, Center for Disease Control)

DBSA

I suffer from this disease and have been having problems for the last few months.  What a lot of the studies do not tell is that you get to the point where everyday activities and life can be completely destroyed or neglected. With this latest episode, I have exhausted my medical leave and lost my job, my car has been reposed, and I will be with out utilities in the next day or so and homeless in two weeks. What will happen is anyone’s guess at this point but if you know someone who is suffering or showing symptoms of depression please do not let them slip away from you. It is treatable and there are medications that can help.

People have asked if they can help. You can make a donation to help me through the rough times at Doing My Part For The Left podcast through the paypal link there. You will never know how much I hate asking but I do appreciate the ones who want to help.

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13 Responses to “Depression Is Real”

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Thinking of you Steve!

Thank you!!!!!

you have my heartfelt prayers for recovery.
I have suffered from depression before and it haunts me like my shadow.

if ever you need to talk or want to more personally about somethings I’ve tried that have helped, please let me know.

Thank you!!!!!

Steve, I admire your being so open about this. It’s been such a social stigma since time began, but more and more are sharing their experiences as you have done. I pray you’ll get the help you need and that things will turn around for you. What you’re going through isn’t easy.

Sending hugs and hopeing things get better real soon!!!

Thanks Sandra and Vicki

Hang in there Steve. You are not alone. I think it goes hand in hand with our politics šŸ™‚ When I feel down, I like to look at cute animals: http://www.cuteoverload.com/

Take the time you need for yourself. Call it a sabbatical to make it sound cool. šŸ™‚

Hugs

Thank you!!!!!

I emailed you personally as I hope you knew I would. Sending you lots of love, hugs, prayers, hope & dreams. Right now, your dreams probably feel lost to you – they are still there – just not viewable or findable until the gray foggy-funk lifts for you.

Somehow, everything will be okay – I do not know how – I just have faith it will all work out and life will be better for you.

Thank YOu!!!! and Thank you for the email also.

Sending many prayers and virtual hugs your way. Take care.

I’m so sorry. It is devastating, I know. I have some resources that may be able to help. I’ll email. My heart is with you.


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