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Depression: How common is it?

Depression is not always a topic that people are willing to openly discuss, even if they feel they may be suffering symptoms of the disorder. However, despite people’s hesitancy to talk, depression is one of the most common mood disorders in the world, affecting approximately 7%, or 15.7 million, of all adults, according to The Solace Center website.

Major depression or clinical depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can occur to any individual at any age, including children and the elderly. The symptoms of depression are extensive, but can be hard to identify. Signs include anxiety, reduced appetite or weight loss, loss of pleasure in activities, fatigue, and irritability. These symptoms can escalate and cause individuals to inflict self-harm or have thoughts of suicide, making treatment for depression vital.

Clinical depression is often treated with medication and therapy, or a combination of both. With treatment, depression is very manageable and most individuals can lead normal and happy lives even with the disorder. After a diagnosis, a doctor or psychotherapist will determine the best course of treatment based on the severity of the disorder and persistence of symptoms. Regardless of what type of treatment is best, individuals can significantly improve their quality of life even if they suffer from major depression. While clinical depression is a serious disorder, it does not have to control an individual’s life. If you believe that you may be experiencing signs of depression, talk to your doctor or a therapist as soon as possible.