“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest” (Mayo Clinic, n. d.).
Common symptoms: “persistent insomnia, loss of interest in activities, lack of concentration, mood swings and irritability, social isolation, and loss of or excessive appetite” (Mayo Clinic, n. d.).
As of 2012, the approximate number of people “suffering from some form of depression around the world is 121 million” (“Depression Facts”, n. d.). In 2014, an “estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States, had at least one major depressive episode during that year, representing 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults” (“Major Depression”, n. d.). These statistics may not include individuals who have not received diagnosis or reported depressive episodes, evidencing the potential for a much larger phenomenon.
The onset and persistence of depression can either be the result of genetics, triggered by life-changing events or environmental stimuli. Death of a loved one, child, domestic or sexual abuse, assault, financial and economic conditions - poverty, isolation and peer pressure fall under these categories. Theoretically, individuals who have a family history of mental disorders are pre-disposed to experience psychological dysfunctions, increasing their susceptibility when combined with stimuli from the environment. But what if a person doesn’t have a family history of depression or any other psychological disorder? And, can they be certain when family members were never officially tested or diagnosed? Depending upon a person’s culture, he or she may be more or less inclined to validate the existence of psychological dysfunction, fearing medication and other forms of psychological treatment. And yet, that which cannot be denied is variations in mood and its relative debilitating effects in respect to intensity. The symptoms of mental abnormality would be unrecognizable by those uninformed and thus, unable to perform a sufficient diagnosis. The reality is one factor in the numerous instances of mental disorders clinically unreported.
To the observer, depression is not invariably perceived. Many people are able to disguise their ailment. Overtly, they are for the most part, articulate, mannered and appear organized. Their down-spiraling emotions and self-defeating thoughts are encased within themselves. Only when stressed or faced with challenging situations do depressed individuals begin to falter and eventually collapse or relapse. The length of time that it takes an individual to recover from depression varies, as convalescence depends upon personal history and present circumstances. The details of which might never be disclosed to those of whom trust has yet to be established.
Through introspection, what is in your capacity to improve your quality of life? Are you in situation that you are unable to depart on your own? Have you sought help from a reliable and supporting family member, friend or a mental health professional? Many who suffer or have endured depression cannot conquer the burden alone. Somewhere in the midst of the darkness a life-raft of light is necessary to rescue them from despair. The concerned and caring possess the capability of leading the way to recovery. But their help must be sought. Unfortunately, aid is not consistently found among familiar people or in convenient places. If you know of someone who is likely suffering depression, lend support and encourage them to seek professional help. Life is not meant to be lived in unhappiness, discomfort and darkness.
Depression Facts & Statistics 2012 Infographic. (n. d.). Retrieved October 4, 2016 from http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics-infographic.
Mayo Clinic. (n. d.). Depression (Major Depressive Disorder). Retrieved October 4, 2016 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977
Major Depression Among Adults. (n. d.). Retrieved October 4, 2016 from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml.