Beyond feeling sad occasionally, depression is a disease that has a major impact on the lives of those who suffer from it.
Depression can affect people at nearly every stage of their lives, typically from adolescence onwards. In 2012, an estimated 16 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the previous year. This represented 6.9 percent of all U.S. adults.1 Despite its high prevalence, only around half of those suffering from depression are diagnosed and treated.
Depression is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, anxiousness, or hopelessness. Other signs and symptoms include irritability, loss of interest in activities, decreased energy, problems eating and sleeping, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. There are several different kinds of depression.2*
The causes of depression are diverse, and include genetic and environmental factors. In addition to any medicine prescribed for treatment, paying attention to lifestyle and diet in managing depression is important, in addition to any medicine prescribed for treatment. There is strong evidence that exercise and good nutrition can have a beneficial impact on mood.3,4
*Listed symptoms are not all-inclusive; actual patient symptoms may vary.
1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-47, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4805. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml . Accessed December 2014.
2 Cooney GM, Dwan K, Greig CA, Lawlor DA, Rimer J, Waugh FR, McMurdo M, Mead GE. Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD004366
3 Sanchez-Villegas and Martínez-González BMC Medicine 2013, 11:3 .