Category Archives: Depression

Clinical Depression, Statistics, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Common Stereotypes and Facts About Depression

In today’s article, we are going to be discussing depression. Depression is something everyone has thought of or heard of before and has been increasing steadily in diagnoses in recent years. You or someone you know has probably wondered at one point in your life whether you have depression yourself or not, that would make sense if you’ve chosen to seek out this article.


Don’t be afraid to seek help

I want you to know that I am not a doctor and if you feel you or someone you know are suffering from a severe sense of depression to seek help. There are many options available to provide assistance such as the suicide hotline or your primary care physician. These people will care for you and show you that there is light at the end of that tunnel.

What is depression

So back to basics, what IS depression and how do you know for sure that what you’re feeling qualifies? Well, by definition, in order to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder the negative symptoms associated with depression must occur for a minimum of two consecutive weeks. The symptoms are varied but common and include feelings of prolonged sadness and a loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy. If you are having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much this could be another sign of abnormal depressive behavior as well. And if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or persistent thoughts about death please see your doctor immediately.

Who does it affect

Depression is considered a common condition and according to the recent research by affects roughly one in 15 adults. That equates to about 6.7% of all adults, and it is said that up to one in six people or 16.6% of people will experience depression at some point in their life. This average is even higher in women, with some studies showing that up to 33.3% of all women will suffer a major depressive episode at some point in their life as well.

Loss and depression

Don’t be confused, there is a huge difference between being sad or grieving the loss of a loved one than being depressed. It is perfectly natural to experience these feelings at times in your life and does not mean you are having a period of major depressive disorder. That being said, a major loss can lead to depression so it is good to be able to tell the difference between the two in order to make sure you get the help you need as soon as possible.

Finding a primary care physician

If you have discovered or strongly feel that you may be depressed it is time to go to your primary care physician for help. Depression is treatable and up to 90% of will respond positively to some form of prescribed treatment for the disorder, and nearly all patients will find some form of relief. It is important that when you see your doctor that you are open and honest about your condition and symptoms. A diagnostic test will need to be performed to determine if what you are feeling can be considered a true case of depression. You may be required to answer some questions, both verbal and written, as well as undergo a physical examination so be ready.


If you have been diagnosed you will likely need treatment. And the first form of treatment most doctors are going to jump for is medication. In many cases, depression can be attributed to a chemical imbalance within your brain, and that is what anti-depressants are primarily designed to help restore balance. There are many different types of anti-depressants out there, and in many different doses, so finding the right one for you may take some time.


These medications take time to work as well. You may notice some improvement shortly after you begin a new prescription but this may just be a placebo effect. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks in order to see significant improvement with your symptoms. This is due to the subtle way antidepressants work to stabilize the chemical imbalances you may have over time. If, however, you do not feel like you are noticing improvement after a 4 week period you may be asked to come back to your doctor’s office to try a different medication. Find the treatment that is right for you, and if you feel you are suffering from the symptoms mentioned today see your primary care physician ASAP.

Depression, Mental Health, and the Ongoing Battle 

Alternative therapies are paving the way for a future for people battling crippling depression and you can sign up for the clinical trials

Depression is a word used lightly, but to those who suffer from it, it is the heaviest thing in the world. Depression is a serious medical illness, but the worst thing about this illness is that it is invisible, and nobody is safe from its grip. Be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know what battle someone might be fighting on the inside. As an outsider, there might not be any way to tell that someone is suffering from depression, but it is very real and it has no mercy.


There are several different symptoms of depression, and they can vary in both severity and types; some of these symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • feeling sad
  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy
  • changes in appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • thoughts of death or suicide

All of these symptoms can severely affect how a person can function, making their home or work life extremely hard. Simple day to day tasks can be grueling and daunting to someone who is suffering from this invisible illness. Depression is a mental illness, but it can manifest physical symptoms. A person struck with depression can often suffer from headaches, back pain, and even gastrointestinal problems. These symptoms, on top of all of the emotional and mental symptoms, can truly cripple a person.

Who suffers from depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health has reported that approximately 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one episode of depression in 2015. This number equates to about 6.7% of the United States population. While nobody is really safe from depression, it tends to appear most in the 18 to 25 age demographic, and it is higher among females compared to males. In South Africa, it has been reported that one in 16 people are currently experiencing depression. Broken down even further, 6.2% of South Africans between the ages of 16 to 85 have suffered from a depressive disorder.


Often linked with depression is anxiety. Anxiety can come from several different factors, such as genetics or just somebody’s environment; additional causes of anxiety can range from brain chemistry, life events, personality traits, and stress. There are many types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and so on. These anxiety disorders can also be extremely crippling to a person and their day to day life. For example, someone suffering from agoraphobia might be stuck at home because the thought of stepping outside cripples them to a point of no return. A person suffering from separation anxiety might not be able to be away from a specific person that might act as their security blanket. A person with a generalized anxiety disorder might start sweating or feel shortness of breath in certain situations that other people might not even think twice about. Just as depression, anxiety is an invisible illness that people can often conceal very well while in the presence of others.


Thankfully, there are many steps that a person can take to help their anxiety level. If anxiety is extremely severe, it is best to consult a doctor and perhaps start some form of treatment. However, there are little steps that someone can also take that can be a tremendous help.

If you’re feeling anxious, take time out to meditate

Focus on five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can smell, and so on. This technique can put your body and mind into a more relaxing state. Be sure to limit alcohol and caffeine, as they are both big triggers of anxiety.

According to this article eating well-balanced meals and getting enough sleep is also key. Feed your body with good nourishing foods rather than junk and processed items can do a world of wonder. After all, it is said that you are what you eat. Exercising is also great for anyone who is suffering from anxiety, and even depression; the endorphins that your body releases when it’s in motion are feel-good chemicals. You will also feel good knowing that you are taking care of yourself.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Depression and anxiety are very real, even though they can not be seen by the human eye. There are many different ways to treat these illnesses, and turning to a professional is never something a person should be ashamed about.

Doctors know these illnesses are real, and those who suffer truly suffer deeply. It is possible to live a happy, healthy and normal life while living with depression and anxiety; do not let it win.