Feelings of depression are very common and affect most people at one time or another. While they pass relatively quickly most of the time, when it becomes a chronic condition, it can significantly reduce your overall quality of life.
Feelings of intense sadness or worthlessness, which last for many days or months is a sign that you or a loved one may be dealing with clinical depression. Experts agree on several warning signs of clinical depression outside of just the general depression, such as a lack of energy throughout the day, difficulty focusing or remembering, and a lack of pleasure in formerly enjoyed tasks.
Even worse, depression disorders are known to impact almost every aspect of life, and they affect everyone differently. When depression becomes persistent, it causes some people to stop eating and lose weight, while others start overeating and gain weight.
By the same token, depression is known to cause some people to oversleep, while others find it extremely difficult to sleep at all. One thing that’s consistent for everyone dealing with clinical depression is that it can bring the rest of your life to a grinding halt if left untreated.
Depression can be caused by a wide range of factors, many of which are not fully understood yet. For instance, most researchers agree that developing clinical depression is usually associated with a stressful life event, but that doesn’t begin to provide the whole picture.
In fact, research shows a large portion of what leads to persistent depression is genetics and the presence of other mental disorders; Not to mention other important considerations such as personality and substance abuse.
So while many people equate depression to being a simple chemical imbalance in the brain, that only scratches the surface of what’s behind this debilitating condition. It’s not just as simple as having too much, or too little of a given substance, which makes treatment a lot more tricky.
According to research, around 16.2 million Americans deal with chronic depression, or approximately 7% of the population. This makes it the leading cause of disability among people aged 15-44. Statistics also show that while depression can develop at any age, around 32.5 is the average, and it tends to affect more women than men.
If you believe you or a loved one may be dealing with clinical depression, the best thing you can do is talk to a doctor about getting a more clear diagnosis. Professionals will always be able to provide the best answers and treatment options, so talking to a doctor first is always advised. However, let’s take a look at what the independent evidence has to say about depression.