- More than 13 million Americans will experience a depressive disorder each year.
- 2 out of 3 students who suffer from depression never get help.
- Treatments for depression are successful more than 80% of the time.
- Depression is known to weaken the immune system, increasing susceptibility to physical illness.
- Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men.
- In men, irritability, anger or discouragement may be indicators of depression.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.
All of us have felt "down" or discouraged at times when things were not going well. There are normal variations in moods over time and even day-to-day. However, depression is a disturbance in mood where you may feel particularly unhappy, discouraged, lonely, or negative toward yourself.
Depression may range from mild to severe depending upon the associated symptoms and the extent the condition interferes with everyday functioning. In milder forms, depressed moods are usually brief and may have little effect on everyday activities. Moderate to severe depression includes symptoms that are more intense, last longer, and tend to interfere more with school, work and social functioning.
Symptoms of Depression
- Flat emotional expression or frequent crying spells
- Difficulty in finding pleasure in life activities
- Decreased sexual desire
- Profound feelings of guilt or shame
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Cold or distant feelings toward family or friends
- Decreased interest in participating in activities previously enjoyed
- Diminished interest in maintaining one’s hygiene
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Reduced coping ability
- Impaired communication with others (e.g., irritating, sarcastic)
- Lack of energy
- Compulsive eating or loss of appetite
- Headaches, backaches, or general muscle aches without a specific cause
- Gastrointestinal problems (e.g., stomach pain, nausea, change in bowel habits)
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
Why does someone become depressed?
Depression can be caused by biological, genetic or psychological factors. Common triggers for depression (especially for college students) include transitioning to a new environment, academic difficulties, family conflict, the loss of a significant relationship, or concerns about the future.
Depressive episodes can occur without identifiable causes. Depression is not the result of personal failure or lack of will power.
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