Depression is not just a state of being ‘too sad’; it is a medical condition that is more than mere sadness in everyday life. It has chronic symptoms and disturbs the daily functioning of the individual suffering from it. It is not a result of a single event; rather, many factors come into play to develop depression over a period of time. The causes may be genetic, psychological, social, or a combination of the three.
Depression is far more common than we would like to think. In fact, it is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in the world. Statistics reveal that in America alone, about 17 percent of the population experiences depression once in their life. An estimated 17 to 20 million Americans get affected by this disease at least once in their life. This usually happens in the late teenage years or mid twenties but the onset in adulthood is quite common as well. Its effects are not only disturbing to the mental health but the physical health also deteriorates under its suffering. Issues like chronic back pain, blood pressure fluctuation, and diabetes are very common among patients of depression.
A Number of Factors Can Cause Depression
It is becoming increasingly common among adults. Nearly one in 10 adults are affected by depression every year in America and the ratio of women is higher than men in this figure. Once affected, depression can lead to a number of impairments and challenges over time. People become exhausted by the constant pull between inner state and the outer world. This leaves them with little to no energy to focus on other needs and demands of life. Depression does not necessarily have to be a single bout; it can be episodic as well. A number of factors like shock, trauma, childbirth, etc can cause it. In many cases it is caused by medical conditions like strokes, heart diseases, dementia, cancer, etc cause it too. Many a times, medicines react with the neurochemicals, causing imbalance, which in turn triggers depression.
Depression Can Lead to More Serious Issues
Depression when left untreated can pose serious risk of coronary diseases and a heart attack in particular. People with depression have a higher rate of dying a few weeks later even after surviving a heart attack. Depression can also lead to insomnia or dementia.
Insomnia causes daytime fatigue and sleep that never feels enough. This constant feeling of not having energy, needing more sleep or rest, and the brain not functioning properly can make the person rely on support from others. And dementia is a degenerative disease which can eventually make the person completely dysfunctional and bedridden. These effects of depression are disabling and require external assistance even with smallest of tasks at extreme stages.
Depression gets worse with time and requires treatment from the earliest stage possible. With medication, counseling and therapy are also required to bring more effective results.