Depressive disorder, frequently referred to simply as depression, is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. It’s a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and medical care. Left untreated, depression can be devastating for those who have it and their families. Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and a treatment plan consisting of medication, psychotherapy and healthy lifestyle choices, many people can and do get better.
According to most recent statistics, More than 17 million U.S. adults or about 7% of the population-had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds experience depression, but it does affect some groups more than others. Depression occurs more often in women than men.
Some differences in the manner in which the depressed mood manifests has been found based on sex and age.
- Changes in Appetite
- Loss of Energy
- Changes in sleep habits
- Loss of interest in activities
- Intense feeling of self-worth, guiltiness, sadness
- Thoughts of Sudicide
In men, it manifests often as tiredness, irritability and anger. They may show more reckless behavior and abuse drugs and alcohol. They also tend to not recognize that they are depressed and fail to seek help.
In women, depression tends to manifest as sadness, worthlessness, and guilt.
In younger children depression is more likely to manifest as school refusal, anxiety when separated from parents, and worry about parents dying.
Depressed teenagers, tend to be irritable, sulky, and get into trouble in school. They also frequently have co-morbid anxiety, eating disorders, or substance abuse.
Older adult’s depression, may manifest more subtly as they tend to be less likely to admit to feelings of sadness or grief and medical illnesses which are more common in this population also contributes or causes the depression.