WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Depression is much more than feeling sad or having a bad day. It’s a mood disorder that can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, beliefs, ethnicity or education, even though who appear to have it all. When someone is depressed, their days are often permeated by intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness so severe that it interferes with their quality of life, making it difficult to manage daily responsibilities or function normally. Finding the motivation for the simplest tasks can seem impossible and harmful thoughts or behaviors can begin to take over. These depressive episodes can last for weeks and may come and go, or symptoms can persist for longer depending on what kind of depression you have. Either way, it’s not something that you can “get over” or “snap out” of on your own — depression requires proper treatment and the guidance of professionals to successfully manage symptoms.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), almost 7 percent of adults in the U.S. experience at least one major depressive episode a year, making it one of the most common mental health disorders. Despite this, depression remains shrouded in stigma, preventing many people from seeking help the help they need. By learning more about depression and acknowledging the importance of mental health, we can begin to move past these stigmas and have an open, honest discussion about depression and how it affects the lives of those it touches.