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Never Ignore Depression

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Studies show that depression is underreported. People aren't getting the help they need, sometimes because they don't know the warning signs or where to turn, or are embarrassed because of the stigma that can still surround mental health issues.

But the numbers are too great to ignore. Up to 26 percent of U.S. women and up to 12 percent of men will experience major depression at some point in their lives. In any given year, that's 16 million American adults.

As many as one in 33 children and one in eight teens also struggle with depression -- that's 9 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 in any given year. And new research suggests these numbers may be even higher.

It's important to recognize signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, including a child, and to get help from a doctor.

Signs of depression:

  • Persistent sadness, anxiety or an "empty" feeling
  • Hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and favorite activities
  • A lack of energy and persistent fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Physical symptoms including pain
  • Thoughts of death or contemplating suicide

Take immediate action if you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts. If you're thinking of harming yourself or attempting suicide:

  • Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Call the toll-free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  • Ask a family member or friend to help you make these calls or take you to the hospital.

The stigma around depression exists, in part, because it's poorly understood. However, one study found that once people are educated about it -- that it's an illness and not something those affected bring on themselves -- they are more likely to change their thinking and accept that depression can and should be treated.

Family members of someone going through depression should become educated about the disease because they make up an important part of the depressed person's support network and can help prevent a recurrence.

More information

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has detailed information on depression and who is at the greatest risk.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=733627

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Depression
Family
Thinking
Mental Health
Adult
Anxiety
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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