Depression affects more people around the world than people perhaps realize.
The reason for this is that it can be difficult to figure out who is affected with depression. Some people with depression can barely go through the motions of life, feeling little motivation to go to work or to socialize. For other people who are depressed, they may give no indication that anything is wrong. On the outside, they are able to maintain their daily lives, and everything appears to be fine. But everything isn't fine. These people are pushing themselves to maintain an image of who they should be, while inside they are exhausted and drained (1).
Unfortunately, some stigma surrounding mental illness remains. Some skeptics think that mental illness is all in your mind and that it can’t be as bad as it is made about to be. This pushes some people to keep their troubles to themselves, refusing to seek help. If you are suffering from depression though, you shouldn’t have to feel ashamed about the way that it affects you.
And it’s also important to understand that you are not alone. Major depression (also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is one of the most common mental health illnesses that Americans face. It was estimated that 17 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive event in 2017. And, it's not just adults who are affected; depression also affects adolescents aged 12 - 17. That same year had an estimated 2.3 million adolescents experience at least one major depressive episode (2).
To push past the stigma and bring awareness to the issue, it is imperative that people create safe and insightful conversation about it.
Although depression can look like different things in different people, there are a number of common symptoms that are important to keep in mind. Symptoms that are typically associated with depression are:
- Sadness and hopelessness
- Sleep disturbance
- Loss of interest in activities you once found pleasurable
- Change in appetite and/or weight loss or weight gain
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Since depression can negatively affect the quality of your life, figuring out ways to help yourself and to receive help are essential to getting better. If you notice symptoms that last for two weeks or longer, it is time to talk with a mental health professional. By talking with a professional, they can educate you about the variety of ways to handle and even treat depression.
Some of the most common forms are medication, therapy with a mental health therapist, and lifestyle changes (3). For people who want to improve their mental state without the use of medicine, it is helpful to delve into alternatives such as supplements and different diet plans. Magnesium supplements like the ones offered by Health by Principle can enhance your mood while also improving your hydration. Take the time to discover your best options, and you will see a difference.
Here are some helpful websites to visit for more information on mental health:
It's important to understand your own depression and figure out ways to manage it. It is not weakness to seek help from other people. It is okay to look for help.
1. Drillinger, Meagan."8 Things People with High-Functioning Depression Want You to Know". Healthline, 2018. Healthline Media.
2. National Institute of Mental Health. "Major Depression". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml.
3. "National Depression Awareness Month". Adventist Healthcare & You, 2017.
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