Depression is a common and serious mood disorder that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and the way you act. It is not the same as being unhappy or in a blue mood. Depression affects how you sleep, eat, work, study, and interact with others and can lead to suicide.
Depression can last for a few weeks or longer and can vary from mild to severe. Even though it causes pain and impairment, depression is highly treatable. Treatments include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Key Things to Know About Depression
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. (Source)
- Depression is not a sign of weakness or something people choose. It's a mental health problem that affects millions of people around the world.
- Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting one in five adults and four in 10 teens. (Source)
- Depression is a serious illness that should not be taken lightly, or ignored. Depression can affect nearly every aspect of your life, and can be just as dangerous as any other health condition you might experience. When it comes down to it, depression is something that doesn’t discriminate—it can affect anyone at any point in their life, no matter how rich or poor they are, how old or young they are, male or female.
Symptoms of Depression
- Feeling hopeless, sad, and empty
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Increased agitation
- Problems with concentration
- Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches (not due to another illness)
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
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