Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD), manifests itself differently in everyone. Some of us are genetically prone to experiencing the disorder during our lifetime. Others experience clinical depression as a result of traumatic events or stressful school, work, or personal environments. Changes in brain chemistry and hormones can also cause the onset of clinical depression episodes.
More than 70 percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their life. Living through a distressing situation can cause common reactions in people that usually go away over time, including fear, shock, anger, nervousness, sadness, and possibly guilt. However, for 7.7 million American adults in a given year, these feelings don’t go away, and even intensify, affecting their quality of life and causing PTSD.
Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression triggered by the change in seasons, primarily occurring in the late fall/early winter. For the approximately 10 million Americans with SAD, feeling sad, hopeless or lethargic for days or weeks at a time are common symptoms and a constant struggle. SAD, like any form of depression, if untreated can limit your ability to function on daily basis and enjoy your life to the fullest.
Approximately 6 million American men have depression each year, but fewer than half recognize, acknowledge, or seek treatment. Unfortunately, many men feel like they need to be “strong and silent” about their mental illness or society will look down on them, leading them to not find the correct treatment.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspective on your sister’s depression. Your observations on how Adolescent Depression can affect a person and family are shared by the hundreds of family members I have seen over my years of treating adolescents. Depression can be so damaging to the person and the family on multiple levels. We can all recall the challenges faced in normal adolescence, whether it be who you are as a person, what you believe in, whom you trust, or what you choose to wear to school that day. Imagine having to deal with depression on top of all that, including continual sadness, low motivation and energy, and possibly disrupted sleep and appetite. How does one talk about that when the world of adolescence, and the world in general, may stigmatize you? Fortunately for those who seek help, there are effective treatments for Adolescent Depression and some exciting new research on the horizon.
Part three of three in our series on depression and the holidays.
Though the holidays can be a joyous time of year, they also come with seasonal stressors that can bring on the blues or trigger depressive episodes in those prone to the disease. In the last two posts, we discussed holiday stressors, as well as antidepressant medication, which is the first line of therapy for those suffering from major depression. There is also a subset of patients who do not respond adequately to antidepressants. For those who don't find relief from medication, there are now excellent non-pharmaceutical alternatives available, including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a highly effective treatment with minimal side effects.
Increasingly demanding conditions in the American workplace have resulted in an increase in work-related stress. Left unchecked, chronic job stress can lead to illnesses including anxiety or depression. For state workers already prone to depressive episodes, or those managing major depression, the pressure of the workplace can induce episodes or worsen existing symptoms. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options, including a revolutionary, non-invasive therapy called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), which has proven incredibly effective, especially for patients who don’t respond to other remedies.
Postpartum depression (PPD) affects approximately 13 percent of women and is brought on by a change in hormone levels after childbirth. Being a new mom can be overwhelming and feelings of insecurity are normal. Unfortunately, for some women these feelings turn into extreme anxiety or sadness and can inhibit a woman’s ability to care for herself and her new baby.