Shining a light on depression

1-800-SUICIDE

(1-800-784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Text: MHA to 741741

From anywhere in the US

Depression is a term with many meanings

In economics, it’s a long severe recession in an economy or market. In meteorology, it’s a region of lower atmospheric pressure. In medicine, it refers to feelings of severe despondency and dejection. It can also refer to sunken or hollow place on a surface. For all, it means a low spot and, usually, something bad.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) website defines it this way:

“Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.”

Depression symptoms vary from mild to severe and can include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide”

The APA also notes that depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. One in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s.

Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.

With all this said and with it all too common, why then do we not talk about it more?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, there are many reasons someone with depression may decide not to share their struggles — they don’t want to burden others, they may be worried they will have negative consequences in their jobs, they don’t want to appear “weak” or they just don’t want to be judged or treated differently. Talking about depression, however, can be a key step in the recovery process. Not surprisingly, most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them. And talking about it — really talking about it – may well be the most important catalyst to create a significant shift in how society as a whole views and addresses this rampant and crippling disease.

Indeed, the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) 2017 World Health Day campaign focus was on opening up about depression. The slogan, “Let’s Talk,” reflected its goal of talking about depression to reduce stigma, encourage people to seek and receive help and provide information and tools for family, friends and colleagues.

Part of the long-term mission and goal of 33 Forever is to be a catalyst for those open, honest and frank discussions. By acknowledging the issues, talking about them and helping to reduce the stigma that many with depression and anxiety feel, we hope to help with healing, care, treatment and understanding. Everyone can make a difference in this effort.

 

If you are a professional in the area of mental health or medicine or have time and expertise in non-profits, development, fund and friend-raising or other areas you think could help and would be willing to help 33 Forever, please contact us and tell us about yourself.

If you have personal stories or personal input you would like to share, please contact us and send us your thoughts, stories, ideas and other things you’d like to share with us. 

This page and site are not a substitute for nor is it intended to be a substitute for or to provide medical or psychological advice, care or treatment.

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 Send us your questions, comments, suggestions, volunteer, offer personal stories, experiences or offer professional assistance. We would love to hear from you. 

1-800-SUICIDE

(1-800-784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Text: MHA to 741741

From anywhere in the US