7 Facts You Should Know About Depression

Depression is a very real and treatable illness. Understanding the facts about depression can save lives. Here are 7 things everyone should know.


Depression Doesn't Always Have a "Good" Reason

Do You Have to Have a Reason to Be Depressed?
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Sometimes people become depressed for what seems like a good reason—maybe they lost their job or a close friend passed away—but with clinical depression, there doesn't necessarily have to be a reason for how you feel. The chemicals in the brain which are responsible for mood control may be out of balance causing you to feel bad even though everything in your life is going well.


There Are Many Things That Can Cause Depression

The causes of depression aren't completely understood, but it is believed that the best explanation for it is that it is probably caused a combination of factors, such as an underlying genetic tendency towards the condition and certain environmental factors which can act as triggers.


Depression Is More Than Ordinary Sadness

Sadness is a part of being human, a natural reaction to painful circumstances. All of us will experience sadness at some point in our lives. Depression, however, is a physical illness with many more symptoms than an unhappy mood.


Children Are Not Immune to Depression

A myth exists that says childhood is a joyful, carefree time in our lives. While children don't experience the same problems that adults do, like work-related stress or financial pressures, this doesn't mean that they can't become depressed. Childhood brings its own unique set of stresses, such as bullying and the struggle for peer acceptance.


Depression Is a Real Illness

You are not weak or crazy. Depression is a real illness which scientists believe is caused by imbalances in certain chemicals within your brain called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are thought to play an important role in regulating your mood as well as being involved in many other functions throughout your body.


Depression Is Treatable

You do not need to suffer if you have depression. There are several very effective treatment options available to you, including medications and psychotherapy. In addition, there are new treatments being developed all the time which are proving to be effective in cases where other treatments have failed.


Untreated Depression Is the Most Common Cause of Suicide

The proper diagnosis and treatment of depression is very important in preventing suicides. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), 90 percent of those who commit suicide are suffering from some sort of mental illness. And, most of these people have depression which is either undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated.

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Article Sources

  • "Facts About Mental Illness and Suicide."  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association.  The Department of Health and Human Services.