What is depression?
It is a very common disorder of mental health that abnormal sadness.
- Fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
- Change in Appetite
- Poor sleep
- Lack of concentration
- Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or others
- No longer finding joy in things
Some people with Depression have suicidal feelings. If this is you call 9-1-1 or emergency care. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
There are many ways to treat depression. They include counseling and medications. It is unique to each patient so you and your doctor can make an individualized plan.
Who does depression affect?
It can happen to anyone from any background. It can affect teenager and young adults all the way to geriatrics.
Childhood and teenage depression
Counseling is especially useful in this age group. Some medications have unique risk in this age group. Treatment plans in young people are especially important to discuss with a pediatrician.
Depression after childbirth is very common. It is more likely if you have a history of depression but that is not always the case. This is often due to the stresses of a new baby and normal hormonal changes. There are medications that are safe to use with breastfeeding. Caring for mom even after delivery is crucial to her health as well as the health of the baby.
People over 65 years old are at increased risk for depression. It is not normal to be sad with aging. Older people can sometimes show depression in unique ways. Things such as forgetfulness and confusion can be disguising as depression. The should catch the attention of a caregiver or an experienced physician.
What causes depression?
The cause is unknown. We do know that there is a likely genetic component. Early childhood trauma is also a risk for depression.
Is depression common?
Yes, very common. The Mayo clinic estimates there at 3 million cases of depression per year.
Is depression a choice?
No. Depression is a mental illness that requires skilled treatment.