If you’ve read my blog before, you know depression is something that is a silent epidemic.
18 million people in the US and 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Some people say depression feels like a black curtain of despair coming over their lives.
Symptoms of depression include: feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, loss of interest in daily activities, sleep changes, loss of energy, self-loathing, and concentration problems.
Women are almost twice as likely to become depressed as men.
There is no single known cause of depression. Rather, it likely results from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.
My sister, Kristin shared this quote with me last week: “Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern. Just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as any cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience. A room in hell with only your name on the door.” — Martha Manning, Undercurrents It’s so true. It’s exactly how I feel.
54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness.
41% of depressed women are too embarrassed to seek help.
80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment.
15% of depressed people will commit suicide.
Those are the facts, the statistics. Here’s the hard truth. The people who are not currently having any treatment, or the people who are too embarrassed to seek treatment feel that way because of the taboo society has placed on depression. Those 54% of people who believe depression is a personal weakness probably have a family member who suffers from depression. I’ve seen billboards lately that say something along the lines of “You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer to just get over it.” That’s so true. Depression is real. It deserves real treatment. Sadly when you finally take the step to seek help for depression you may be met with hesitation by your dr. I just explained that to my husband recently. That going to the dr. is such an ordeal. I get anxiety just preparing to go to the dr. Then I go in and try to explain what I’m going through, only to leave feeling like I hit a brick wall because the dr doesn’t think it’s necessary to change my medication.
There’s no way all the cases of depression can be the same. And the medication that may work for some people isn’t going to work for other people. There are so many anti-depressants out there that there’s no reason to keep taking the same one that doesn’t work. Medication may not be the answer at all. Lots of people swear by therapy. I’m currently trying a combination of the two.
What it comes down to is that you have to be your own advocate. You HAVE to call out for help. You can’t take it on all on your own. You can’t fix everything or make everything change. And most of all, you can’t just “shake it off.” You can’t just make up your mind that you’re going to feel better and everything is going to be normal and perfect. It takes way more than that.