An Introduction to Depression
Updated: Jul 25, 2019
Clinical depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder, is one of the most common mental health conditions. According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. Moreover 6.7% of Americans – 16.2 million adults – experience a major depressive episode in a given year.
Clinical depression is a mental health disorder characterized by a persistent depressive mood or a loss of interest in regular activities, causing significant impairment to daily life functions. This mood can lead to a variety of behavioral and physical symptoms including changes in sleep, appetite, concentration, self-esteem, and energy level.
The disorder is also associated with self harm and suicide. An estimated 60% of those who commit suicide have major depression. However, this does not mean that the majority of those with depression will have a suicide attempt. A study by the Mayo Clinic in 2000 discovered that the rate of suicide among depression patients was between 2 and 9 percent.
Although the most common form of depression is Major Depressive Disorder, depression can take other forms under unique circumstances.
1. Postpartum depression is one type of depression that is experienced by 15% of new mothers – either during pregnancy or after delivery. Feelings of extreme sadness and anxiety make it difficult for these new mothers with Postpartum depression to complete daily care for themselves and for their babies.
2. Persistent depressive disorder is another subset of depression, however it is unique in its duration. Although they may experience period of less severe symptoms, a person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder has experienced symptoms for at least two years.
3. Psychotic depression, a less common form of depression, occurs when someone experiences forms of psychosis and depression concurrently. The psychotic symptoms will typically have a depressive “theme” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, illness, or death.
These are only some of the many subsets of depression; others include seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, atypical depression, and ‘situational’ depression.
Depression can usually be treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. If these treatments don’t reduce symptoms, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies can be used to reduce symptoms and the duration of the condition.
However, no two people are affected the same way by depression. There is no "one-size-fits-all" for treatment.
Interestingly, the racial and economic demographics of depression patients follow certain trends. Although one may expect all races to be equally as likely to be diagnosed with depression, studies show that depression symptoms were more likely to occur among minorities than among whites. This greater depression rate within minorities are explained by the greater health burdens and lack of health insurance. Depression also tends to be more prevalent among lower socioeconomic statuses. 15.8% of adults living below the federal poverty level (FPL) have depression. The prevalence of depression decreases to 3.5% among adults at or above 400% of the FPL.
This is one of many reasons for AYANA’s existence. Not only do we specialize in aiding minorities who face mental health conditions such as depression, but we also offer our service for a lower cost in comparison to traditional form of therapy. AYANA is committed to providing quality and effective services to serve your mental health needs.