Never ignore depression

June 7, 2018 by Len Canter, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Studies show that depression is underreported. People aren't getting the help they need, sometimes because they don't know the warning signs or where to turn, or are embarrassed because of the stigma that can still surround mental health issues.

But the numbers are too great to ignore. Up to 26 percent of U.S. women and up to 12 percent of men will experience at some point in their lives. In any given year, that's 16 million American adults.

As many as one in 33 children and one in eight teens also struggle with depression—that's 9 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 in any given year. And new research suggests these numbers may be even higher.

It's important to recognize signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, including a child, and to get help from a doctor.

Signs of depression:

  • Persistent sadness, anxiety or an "empty" feeling
  • Hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and favorite activities
  • A lack of energy and persistent fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Physical symptoms including pain
  • Thoughts of death or contemplating suicide

Take immediate action if you or a loved one is having . If you're thinking of harming yourself or attempting suicide:

  • Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Call the toll-free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  • Ask a family member or friend to help you make these calls or take you to the hospital.

The stigma around depression exists, in part, because it's poorly understood. However, one study found that once people are educated about it—that it's an illness and not something those affected bring on themselves—they are more likely to change their thinking and accept that depression can and should be treated.

Family members of someone going through should become educated about the disease because they make up an important part of the depressed person's support network and can help prevent a recurrence.

Explore further: Teenage depression: If a parent doesn't get treatment for a child, is that abuse?

More information: The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has detailed information on depression and who is at the greatest risk.

Related Stories

Teenage depression: If a parent doesn't get treatment for a child, is that abuse?

June 1, 2018
Hospital visits for kids in the U.S. who have contemplated or thought about suicide have risen sharply.

Big rise seen in U.S. kids, teens attempting suicide

May 16, 2018
(HealthDay)—In a troubling sign that anxiety and depression are taking hold of America's youth, new research shows a doubling since 2008 in the number of kids and teens who've been hospitalized for attempted suicide or ...

Rapid mood changes normal for teens

June 7, 2016
Dear Mayo Clinic: My 13-year-old daughter has become very moody, which I realize is normal for this age. But, I'm concerned she may be depressed. What is the difference between typical teen behavior and depression in teenagers? ...

Older adults may need better follow-up after ER screenings for suicide

August 9, 2017
According to the World Health Organization, suicide rates for men over the age of 70 are higher than in any other group of people. In 2015, almost 8,000 older adults committed suicide in the U.S., and the proportion of suicides ...

Global depression numbers surge in past decade: WHO

March 30, 2017
Cases of depression have ballooned almost 20 percent in a decade, making the debilitating disorder linked to suicide the leading cause of disability worldwide, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

Researchers outline effective strategies to prevent teen depression and suicide

November 15, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Untreated depression is one of the leading causes of teen suicide, and signs of depression can also be a warning that a teen is contemplating suicide. In an article published this week in the quarterly ...

Recommended for you

To dispel myths, redirect the belief, study says

September 24, 2018
Beliefs can be hard to change, even if they are scientifically wrong. But those on the fence about an idea can be swayed after hearing facts related to the misinformation, according to a study led by Princeton University.

Children found capable of using the 'wisdom of crowds'

September 24, 2018
Children, like adults, can improve their response to difficult tasks by the power of group work, new research led by the University of Bristol has found.

Eye training to help children with dyspraxia

September 24, 2018
Children with a coordination disorder can improve skills like throwing and catching with new training videos developed by the University of Exeter.

Take a step back from yourself to better realize the benefits of awe

September 24, 2018
Religion and nature can both lead to awe, and turning to one or the other is a common coping strategy for the stress that might accompany an upcoming presentation, exam or performance.

Stepfathers' 'Cinderella effect' challenged by new study

September 24, 2018
Long-held assumptions that stepfathers are far more likely to be responsible for child deaths than genetic parents have been challenged by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Even toddlers weigh risks, rewards when making choices

September 21, 2018
Every day, adults conduct cost-benefit analyses in some form for decisions large and small, economic and personal: Bring a lunch or go out? Buy or rent? Remain single or start a family? All are balances of risk and reward.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.