Major depression is a serious medical illness that affects approximately 16.1 million Americans. Depression can cause ongoing sadness that changes how a person thinks, feels, and acts every day. While medication can help manage symptoms for many people, it is estimated that approximately 4 million patients do not benefit from taking standard antidepressant medication.
- Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide
- Depression has no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries
- Researchers estimate that by the year 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disease burden—impact on length and health of lives—worldwide.
What causes depression?
While the exact cause of depression is not known, the leading scientific theory is that it is caused by an imbalance of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that send signals between brain cells.
While antidepressant drugs work for many people, some still do not receive adequate treatment. For these patients, the effects of depression can still be debilitating. These patients need a proven, safe depression treatment option.
What are the symptoms of depression?
According to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, depression is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing a depressed mood, a loss of interest or enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to diminished activity. Other common depression symptoms include:
- Reduced concentration or attention
- Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Ideas of guilt and unworthiness
- Bleak and pessimistic view of the future
- Disturbed sleep
- Diminished appetite
- Ideas of self-harm or suicide
If you feel you are experiencing any of these depression symptoms, contact your doctor and ask about your depression treatment options.