Facts About Depression Most People Aren't Aware Of




Major depression cases are on the rise according to a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield report. Discussing the facts about depression is always important, especially things most people aren’t aware of.  Here are few facts on depression:

  • It’s more than just feeling sad: Other symptoms of depression include psychomotor activity changes, sleep disturbances, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, guilt and feelings of hopelessness, decreased energy, trouble concentrating, appetite changes and suicidal thoughts or attempts.
  • Depression impacts more people than you think: one out of six people will develop clinical depression in their lifetime. It affects 121 million people worldwide. One out of 10 mothers develop postpartum depression.
  • Depression kills: 35,000 people commit suicide each year due to their depression. Depressed individuals are five times more likely to commit suicide.
  • Depression is costly: On average, people who suffer depression can lose $10,400 per year by age 50. 
  • It can take time to get the right treatment: The initial antidepressant leads to remission in only one out of three patients with depression. When treating depression with antidepressants a 10 – 12-week trial is necessary to achieve remission. The dose and the combination of medicine that gets you better keeps you better and should be continued for maintenance therapy for at least one year.
  • Cutting-edge new treatment: While there are many great options to treat depression like medication and therapy, some people don’t get better. For these hard-to-treat cases, IV Ketamine therapy is showing great promise, helping patients feel better within 24 hours of the initial treatment. Ketamine has been an anesthetic for many years and is now being used to help treat a number of psychiatric conditions.
  • Depression affects children as well: The average age of onset of major depression is 32; however, one out of 10 adolescents will have a depressive disorder by the age of 18. Compared to adults, children with depression may be more likely to present with temper tantrums, somatic complaints, social withdrawal or mood lability.
  • You can lead a very successful life despite depression: Some famous people who have had depression are Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, Billy Joel, J.K. Rowling, Charles Darwin, Eric Clapton, Buzz Aldrin, Terry Bradshaw and Calvin Coolidge.
  • Substance abuse: There is a high rate of comorbid substance abuse in major depression. Often it is necessary to treat the depression first even though ideally you would like the patient to stop abusing substances before treating depression. If the substance abuse is not treated, remission of depression is unlikely and recurrences of both more common.
  • There is no shame in having depression: Many people are afraid to seek treatment for fear of what others might think. Conditions of the brain are no different than conditions of the heart or any other organ in the body. There’s no need to suffer.

Prakash Masand M.D., a psychiatrist and founder of the Centers of Psychiatric Excellence