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Depression

Depression is more than feeling low. It is a long-standing, often recurring illness as real and disabling as heart disease or arthritis. Depression is a very common emotional illness.

    • Each year in America, more than 18 million adults and 33 million children and adolescents suffer from some form of clinical depression.
    • One in four women will experience a depressive episode in their lifetime.
    • One in 10 men will experience a depressive episode in their lifetime.

Today there are effective treatments for depression. Between 80 to 90% of those with depression can be successfully treated.

Treatment is generally necessary—people with depression cannot snap out of it on their own, nor will it go away.

How Do You Know If A Person Has Depression?
If you or someone you care about has exhibited four or more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, professional help should be considered:

    • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
    • Sleeping too little or too much
    • Changes in weight or appetite
    • Loss of pleasure or interest in activities
    • Feeling restless or irritable
    • Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
    • Fatigue or loss of energy
    • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
    • Thoughts of suicide or death

The likelihood of depression increases if you have an illness such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's or Parkinson’s.

Thoughts of death and suicide are a typical symptom of depression. An estimated 15% of those with depression commit suicide over a lifetime, and depression is considered to be the underlying cause in half of all suicides. Because depression can have fatal consequences, treatment should not be delayed.

Resource: The Mental Health Association in Greater San Antonio