Depression is a mental disorder that affects the mood of a person, often causing persistent feelings of depressed mood or sadness.
It is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. Based on statistics from the World Health Organization, 5% of all adults around the world experience it. Because so many people struggle with depression, it is important to know the warning signs and how to spot them – especially if you or someone you know or love is experiencing them.
Here are six things that you should know about depression:
1. There are many symptoms that people with depression can experience.
Although depression looks different for everyone, there are a few hallmark symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some of the main symptoms that people with depression could experience:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or empty
- Sudden irritability or anger
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of interest in things that were once enjoyed
- Lack of appetite
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Trouble concentrating, focusing, or making decisions
2. Depression can be present along with other types of mental illness.
While some people can experience depression by itself, it is also common to see it present with other types of mental illness. This is called comorbidity. Other disorders that are commonly seen with depression are panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance use disorder (specifically alcohol and drug dependence), post-traumatic stress disorder, or any of the personality disorders. However, anxiety is the most common comorbid disorder. The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that upwards of 60% of people who experience depression will also show symptoms of anxiety.
3. You don’t have to be clinically depressed to experience depression.
Many people think that you can only experience depression if you are severely depressed. However, that’s just not true. Almost everyone will experience some form of depression in their lifetime, especially if they experience any situations that bring on stress, grief, guilt, or shame. The main difference between experiencing symptoms of depression and clinical depression is that when a person is clinically depressed, they may begin to have trouble functioning in everyday life. Some examples of this are being unable to work, socialize, or perform regular daily tasks.
4. There are different types of clinical depression.
Mild, moderate, and severe are common terms used to describe the severity of depression. However, there are also several common types of depression, each one with its own set of characteristics and symptoms:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
- Postpartum Depression (PPD)
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Atypical Depression
5. More women have depression than men.
According to statistics from the Mayo Clinic, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. In fact, some statistics show that women are twice as likely to experience depression in the first place. Many things contribute to this statistic, but many attribute the higher rates of depression in women to the gender gap and other inequalities that women face in society. Women are paid less than man for most jobs, often have to juggle multiple responsibilities within the professional and personal life, and hormone changes in puberty and menopause. Pregnancy and postpartum experiences also play a large role in why women experience depression.
Depression is a treatable mental disorder. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is always a good idea to seek mental health treatment. Talking with a therapist or counselor who is trained in treating depression and its symptoms can help you improve your mood, therefore improving your quality of life. At Kentucky Services, our staff is trained to help you through things like this. To ask any questions about services, contact us here.