There are two categories of depression – major depression and dysthymia. These two capture about 9.5% of the adult population (18 and older) in the United States in a given year. That’s 18.8 million people wandering around in various intensities of a fog each year, which range from light grey to almost total blackness.
In this blog, we’ll look at major depression. Next time, we’ll look at dysthymia.
A person suffering from a major depressive episode experiences the following symptoms:
overwhelming feelings of sadness and grief, loss of interest and pleasures in activities previously enjoyed, lack of sleep or oversleeping, lack of energy, loss of appetite or overeating, inability to concentrate or think, difficulty in making even small decisions, physical symptoms of restlessness, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, a lack of meaning in life, feelings of helplessness, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Occurrences of major depression range from mild to severe. In mild cases that barely qualify as major depression, a person is able to get through the day without significant trouble. In severe cases, a person struggles with functioning in everyday activities. In the worst cases, a person suffers complete debilitation.
It was once thought that major depression was twice as prevalent in women as in men, but now that statistic is being questioned. Professionals in the field report that nearly 40% of people with major depression don’t seek help with their condition. From my experience and what I’ve researched, I believe that many more men than women don’t receive treatment and so don’t show up as a statistic.
These are grim statistics, but there is hope. Maybe not right away – it took me five years to become fully stable – but there is hope. That’s what this blog is all about – how to triumph over depression. Dare I say one more time that it is a matter of completely addressing the condition through the treatments of body, soul, and spirit? I do. As a coach for those who are depressed, I have witnessed remarkable transformations in those who were considered to be hopeless cases by themselves and by others. As Winston Churchill once said, “Never give in. Never give in.”