What You Need to Know About Depression


Depression is more than just sadness or "the blues." It is also more than just the emotions felt when grieving over the loss of a loved one.

In fact, depression is a lifelong medical condition that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Other Names for Depression

Depression is also sometimes referred to as clinical depression, major depression illness or major depressive disorder.

Who Is Affected by Depression

Depression does not discriminate. Between 5 and 8 percent of men and women – 24 million people – over the age of 18 are affected with depression each year in the United States. It affects men and women of all ages and races. Depression also affects women more frequently than men, for reasons not yet fully understood.

Costs Associated with Depression

Workers in the U.S. with depression miss 68 million more days of work as compared to those who don’t have depression, resulting in more than $23 billion in lost productivity, according to results of a recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Additionally, full-time workers who have been diagnosed with depression make up 10.8 percent of the U.S. full-time workforce and average 8.7 missed days of work each year due to poor health.

Depression Can Result from Other Medical Conditions

Particularly in elderly people, depression can develop from other common illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia and heart disease.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression can cause a wide variety of symptoms including changes in sleep patterns, changes in appetite, poor concentration, loss of energy, lack of interest in every day activities and low self-esteem.

Sources: NAMI and Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index


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