Depression. America’s dirty little secret.
It’s estimated that roughly ~10% of Americans 18 years or older suffer from Depression in the United States alone. If you include children over 12, the statistics go up.
From that, 30% of Women suffer from Depression, but only 30% of them will seek help, according to the CDC. And, unfortunately, 15% of those women will commit suicide. Men are 4x more likely to commit suicide than women.
Of all of the developed countries in the world, 15% of the population are Depressed. If you are an African-American, then you are not only much more likely to suffer from Depression in your lifetime, but you’re also much less likely to seek medical assistance.
Sadly, 2/3 of people with Depression will never seek treatment.
All this information is great, but the reality is, you may have it and not know it. Here are a few symptoms to help you know if you have Depression:
- Sadness, anxiety, or "empty" feelings
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- Insomnia, oversleeping, or waking much earlier than usual
- Loss of weight or appetite, or overeating and weight gain
- Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
- Feelings of helplessness, guilt, and worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering
- Restlessness, irritability or excessive crying
- Chronic aches and pains or physical problems that do not respond to treatment
If you think that you’re suffering from depression, get help. It’s just the blues? It’s probably depression. Americans are so ingrained into the work harder and longer that they’ve forgotten to take care of themselves. Until very recently, Depression was an embarrassment and unacceptable in society. If you were diagnosed with it you were shipped off to an asylum and people, including your family, whispered about it with little sniggers.
Here’s a soul bearing secret… I have suffered from depression for about 17 years. I’ve been treated for only 8. For a very long time I didn’t seek help. You see the “Grumpy-Pants’s” suck it up and tuff it out. They deal with it, they get over it… they don’t go a Dr to get medicine and they certainly don’t pay good money to “talk about it”.
Is my depression under control? Mostly. I still have my weeks. Holidays are very hard for me, since Nana’s death. They will continue to get harder when more loved ones go on to the next lifetime. This holiday is no exception. I do what I can to control it, but it’s mostly me forcing myself to participate in life, going out to lunch with dear friends and trying to move forward.
Will I ever be out of it? Probably not. I’m convinced that it’s a chemical imbalance. Add the fact that I have Fibromyalgia, and there’s a scenario for a constant struggle. How is one able to not be depressed, when they are in constant pain? Add a propensity to be depressed and you’ve got yourself a fight.
Unlike other people, I have never been one to consider suicide. Even when I was a teenager, I was very against it. I’ve always had a hyper understanding for how uniquely special we are… I believed Ronald Regan when he said it. We are unique, as a life form and each of us is special for no other reason than that we create by something of a miracle.
If you think you’re suffering from Depression, speak to your family Dr. If you are afraid other people will “find out” then don’t tell them. Your Dr. can not legally tell anyone about your health with out your permission.
But don’t live with it. Life is such an amazing adventure. Life can be so beautiful and creative, with just a little effort, and it’s certainly difficult enough with out enduring something that can be so easily resolved.
© ‘Fizz’ 2009