- Of the estimated 17.5 million Americans who are affected by some form of depression, 9.2 million have major or clinical depression
- The economic cost of depression is estimated at $30.4 billion a year but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated
- Women experience depression about twice as often as men
- By the year 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number two cause of “lost years of healthy life” worldwide
- Major Depression is 1.5-3.0 times more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with the disorder than among the general population
There are three basic causes of depression:
- A family history of depression
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Feeling trapped in your life
Recurrence Rates of Depression:
- After one episode of depression, the risk of another episode is 50 percent
- After two episodes of depression, the risk of another episode is 70 percent
- After three episodes of depression, the risk of another episode is 90 percent.
Approximately 15 percent of people who have depression, have chronic depression. The bad news is that depression is recurrent. The good news is that depression is treatable. (Anxietydepressionhealth.org)
Feeling depressed doesn’t mean you feel sad. Sometimes this is confusing. People don’t believe they are depressed because they aren’t sad. Sometimes people are depressed in other ways. A good definition of depression is a lack of vitality. You may have low energy, high anxiety, lack of enjoyment, or lack of fulfillment. Depression affects one’s entire body.
An interesting fact is that depression doesn’t usually get worse. Sometimes it gives depressed people comfort to know this. It’s unlikely that mild depression will turn into severe depression: even though mild depression is very painful.
Abusing drugs or alcohol will definitely lead to depression because they deplete your brain of serotonin and dopamine. Brain scans show that it can take months for a brain’s chemistry to return to normal after drug or alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse almost doubles the risk of depression.
Marijuana users are four times more likely to develop depression.
Even stimulants such as cocaine cause depression. Cocaine initially stimulates your brain, and temporarily elevates your mood. But over the long run it depletes your brain of serotonin and dopamine and leads to depression.