10 depressing and shocking facts about depression

Depression can happen to anybody, but those with depression are more likely to be introverted, creative, or perfectionistic. Personality doesn’t cause depression but it can be a risk factor.

Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Symptoms of a depressive episode can include loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, a change in weight, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping energy loss, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression is often misunderstood as just feeling sad.

But it’s a complex medical condition thought to be caused by a combination of factors, including genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental triggers according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Depression comes in different forms, such as persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia), postpartum depression, psychotic depression, seasonal affective disorder, and major depression. 

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My research was based on criteria in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, or DSM-V.

A depression diagnosis is made when at least five of the following symptoms occur nearly every day for at least two weeks. 

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of pleasure in all or most activities
  • Significant weight change or change in appetite
  • Change in sleep
  • Change in activity
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Diminished concentration
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Thoughts of suicide

To diagnose major depression, either a depressed mood or loss of pleasure in activities must be one of the symptoms.

Depression is also known as Major Depressive Disorder. 

It is one of the most common mental health disorders. It affects people of all ages and across cultures and populations. Symptoms of depression can vary from mild or moderate to severe cases.

That depends on the number of symptoms a person has and to what extent they are impacting his life.

However, even in the mildest form, the disorder can cause significant effects on a person’s ability to carry on normal life activities and maintain quality of life. 

Some Statistics

Depression is a typical aspect of the human experience; we all face disappointments and mood swings from time to time due to our health or circumstances.

When depression becomes the predominant feeling we feel for extended periods, it can indicate a mental health problem.

According to 2019 estimates, over 280 million individuals suffer from depression, and there is reason to believe that number has increased in recent years.

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Things to know about Depression

1. Depression has different triggers. 

People have a higher risk of depression if they’ve recently been through a stressful life event; if they’ve had depression in the past; or if a close family member has been depressed.

 

2. Depression might be a gut feeling. 

A study published in August 2020 in the journal Cureus found a strong connection between gut health and mental well-being, noting that depression is strongly associated with gut imbalance.

 

3. They don’t look it

Depressed people might not look depressed. “Depression is a hidden illness,” says Jeremy Coplan, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

People with depression are often highly functioning and adept at concealing their depression from the world. It could be your doctor, dentist, teacher, best friend, or the life of the party.

Whether because of the stigma associated with depression or because of their concerns about the impact on the people around them, many people with depression will be masterful at masking their illness publicly. 

Some people can seem upbeat and cheerful, but inside they’re struggling with the symptoms of depression.

 

4. Exercise 

Exercise can help manage depression. “Exercise improves mood state,” says Dr. Thienhaus, who explains that exercise helps stimulate natural compounds in the body that can make you feel better.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days. “We typically recommend that people with depression exercise and also develop a healthy diet.

 

5. Therapy 

Therapy is usually needed, too. For mild to moderate depression, therapy and lifestyle changes are considered the first line.

However, for moderate to severe depression, a combination of therapy and medication is often helpful.

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Depression is Very Dangerous

 

Very Dangerous. Although depression is a very common but dangerous mood disorder, symptoms of a depressive episode can include loss of interest in things you used to enjoy and weight change.

The difficulty falling asleep or excessive sleep, loss of energy for daily activities, feeling worthless, and low self-esteem. Depression symptoms also lead to thoughts of death or suicide!

Some Major Facts To Learn From

1. Sometimes even from Positive Circumstances

Even positive events such as graduating, getting married, or starting a new job can lead to depression.

 

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2. Depression Hits Hard

3.2 million adolescents in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode (13.3% of the US population aged 12 to 17).

 

3. Anxiety and depression disorders are closely related

Nearly 50% of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

 

4. Depression is the leading cause of disability. 

In the United States people between the ages of 15 and 44.

5. They turn out to be Addicts

Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also suffer from depression.

 

6. Your genes play a role.

Experts believe that about 50% of depression stems from genetics. The more severe the depression, the more likely the link to genetics. Other causes include child abuse, loss of a parent early in life, and severe stress. Brain chemistry also has an impact on depression.

The human body is a complicated mechanism with millions of chemical reactions that determine your mood, senses, and life experience.

Because of the complexity of the human brain, people may have identical symptoms of depression, but they may arise from various sources.

This is why selecting the correct remedy for your body is critical. However, often the cause is not known. This probably doesn’t come from just one gene but a combination.

But, if you have a parent or sibling with depression, your risk is two to three times greater than it is for someone without this family history. The more severe the depression, the more likely the link to genetics. 

 

7. Children also get depressed.

About 1 in 30 young children get depressed. One sign of this is withdrawal from friends and activities. Kids who are depressed also might start doing poorly in school.

They often become irritable or have physical complaints. Around 1 out of 30 small kids get depressed. One indication of this is withdrawal from friends and exercise.

Kids who are depressed also might start doing poorly in school. They often become irritable or have physical complaints. These symptoms often are missed. parents think the issue is something different.

That is the reason 66% of kids with psychological wellness issues don’t find support. Yet, treating depression works in kids, just like it does in adults.

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8. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men. 

 

Women may be at a higher risk for depression due in part to estrogen, which may alter the activity of neurotransmitters that contribute to depression.

Women are more likely to be depressed during and after pregnancy because of the hormonal shifts related to pregnancy and childbirth.

The combined stress of work and family responsibilities may also play a role. Part of the difference between men and women though is that women are more likely to tell their doctors about their symptoms and seek help.

 

9. Depression fades memory.

Depression can really interfere with memory, particularly the type of memory that deals with specific facts such as names or places.

Part of the reason for this may be the tendency to over-generalize, which can compromise the ability to differentiate between similar experiences.

 

10. Depression ages you faster.

 

Research has found that depression leads to accelerated cellular aging and a heightened risk of aging-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

People with depression have a shorter length of telomeres (a repeating DNA sequence found at the end of chromosomes). The more severe and longer-lasting the depression, shorter the telomere length the greater the aging. 

 

11. Depression increases the experience of physical pain.

 

Like emotional pain isn’t enough, depression is also associated with physical pain such as headaches, backache, stomach ache, joint aches, and muscle aches.

Research has shown that depression and physical pain share a chemical pathway in the brain and are influenced by the same neurotransmitters. 

 

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Factors that Lead to Depression

 

Abuse/Trauma History

This is one of the major reasons one goes through depression. Unfortunately, most of us will have experienced trauma by reaching adulthood, and many of us will have been abused.

A history of abuse and trauma affects us long after the incident has passed. The grief we feel from these occurrences can influence how we make decisions and live our lives.

People frequently get sad as a result of childhood maltreatment or trauma.

There is, however, hope; talk therapy is one of the most effective therapies for depression brought on by trauma and abuse.

Therapy can help you sense the emotions surrounding your pain and teach you coping strategies that will enable you to live a happier and healthier life.

Another form of maltreatment that leads to depression is substance misuse. Substance misuse may result in depression