Who is affected? Depression can effect anyone but there is a significantly higher rate of depression among women than men. 17 million Americans develop depression each year. 8.6% of adults over 18 have a mental health problem for at least 2 weeks a year.
Children & Teens 2% of Children get depressed 6-8% of Teenagers –1999 survey- reported that 1 of every 10 American high school students reported making a suicide attempt the year before. –Teenage boys are more likely than girls to kill themselves. –Look for a change in behavior or performance in school
Defining Depression Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts It impacts the way a person functions socially, at work, and in relationships. It is more than feeling blue, down in the dumps or sad about a particular issue or situation. It is a medical condition that requires diagnosis and treatment
Some Causes of Depression –Imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain –Triggered by stress, medication or other medical problems –Certain personality factors or genetic traits
Symptoms of Depression [Five or more of the following for at least 2 weeks] Feelings of sadness, depressed mood and/or irritability Loss of interest or pleasure in activities Changes in weight or appetite Changes in sleep pattern-not enough or too much Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness Inability to concentrate, remember things or make decisions Constant fatigue or loss of energy Restlessness or decreased activity Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death
Treatments for Depression: Psychotherapy: “talking therapy” that works by helping a person gain an understanding or insight into their problems and work on solving them. Behavioral psychotherapy looks at patterns of behavior that may contribute to depression. Medication: anti depressants, several kinds Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Depression in women Women are at a much greater increased risk of Depression: –At times of hormone swings-premenstrual 3%-8% of women have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder during reproductive years –Postpartum period 15-20% of women have depression after delivery –Menopause –Going into puberty –Following a miscarriage (within one month)
Postpartum Depression 15% of women report depression within three months of delivery Women with a prior history of depression are at greater risk Postpartum “blues” or “baby blues” is normal –mild feeling of being down, tearful –lasts for only a day or so
What can a loved one do for someone who is depressed? Listen and provide support Be patient, understanding and encouraging Don’t dismiss the symptoms Remember that depression is a medical condition Remind your loved one to keep doctor’s appointments and to take their medication! Help to support healthy habits: good sleeping habits, eating well, trying to get exercise postpone major life decisions such as changing jobs, divorce, marriage or moving until depression is better Suicide threats are to be taken seriously!
Other special populations: Elderly: Increased feelings of isolation & support Medically Ill- Depression is often either a symptom or as a result of a serious or chronic medical problem Those persons with Addictions- If the depression is treated, the addiction can be treated also.