Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most that experience it, find therapy helpful. It affects both men and women.The vast majority of individuals, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with therapy.
Facts about Depression
- As many as 400,000 people in Ireland suffer from Depression;
- 1 in 4 young adults will suffer an episode before age 24.
- Women are twice as likely to suffer from it than men or perhaps are quicker to report for help;
- The World Health Organisation estimates it will be the 2nd highest medical cause of disability by the year 2030, 2nd only to HIV/AIDS.
- Many creative individuals experienced it, including Ludwig van Beethoven, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Plath.
Symptoms of Depression
- Insomnia, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much;
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions;
- Feelings of hopelessness;
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness;
- Negative thoughts;
- Overeating or loss of appetite;
- Irritability, aggression or anger;
- No interest in activities or hobbies;
- An increase in alcohol consumption and/or reckless behaviour;
- Thoughts of suicide.
When left untreated, symptoms may worsen and last for months or sometimes even years. These symptoms can cause unimaginable misery and possibly lead to suicide. Recognising the symptoms is often the biggest obstacle to the diagnosis and treatment. Over half of the people who experience symptoms never get diagnosed or treated.