What is Depression?  

cajunpet 70M
828 posts
6/13/2005 10:46 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

What is Depression?



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What is Depression?

Depression is a serious medical illness; itís not something that you have made up in your head. Itís more than just feeling "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. Itís feeling "down" and "low" and "hopeless" for weeks at a time.

In any given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness5 The economic cost for this disorder is high, but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated. Depressive illnesses often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have a disorder, but also to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person. But much of this suffering is unnecessary.

Most people with a depressive illness do not seek treatment, although the great majorityóeven those whose depression is extremely severeócan be helped. Thanks to years of fruitful research, there are now medications and psychosocial therapies such as cognitive/behavioral, "talk" or interpersonal that ease the pain of depression.

Unfortunately, many people do not recognize that depression is a treatable illness. If you feel that you or someone you care about is one of the many undiagnosed depressed people in this country, the information presented here may help you take the steps that may save your own or someone else's life.

WHAT IS A DEPRESSIVE DISORDER?

A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

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cajunpet 70M
1185 posts
6/14/2005 12:25 am

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