10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Depression
Depression blogger Adrienne Santos-Longhurst provides you with important facts about depression, something she wished she knew before her diagnosis.
I have talked about how difficult coming to terms with and accepting my diagnosis was because what I was feeling felt anything but like depression, or at least what I thought it to be. Had I known more about the symptoms of depression and all of the less-than-obvious signs of the disease, I or my loved ones would have been a lot more likely to figure it out sooner and I’d have had an easier time accepting my doctor’s—what seemed to be unfounded and ludicrous—diagnosis. So what I want to write about today is the lesser-known, or at least the lesser-discussed facts about depression.
- Depression causes physical symptoms as well as emotional. Some common ones are headaches, body and muscle pain (chronic pain), dry or irritated eyes, nausea, heartburn and other stomach upset, and fatigue.
- Depression can make you gain or lose weight.
- Anxiety is sometimes even stronger than feelings of being depressed or sad in those suffering from depression. The two seem to go hand-in-hand.
- Depression can come from a chemical imbalance or an event/situation, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, etc.
- Depression affects those around you almost as much as it does you, though in a different way, of course.
- Depression is most common between the ages of 25-44, but does affect people of all ages including children as young as preschool age.
- People with untreated depression die and average of 25 years sooner.
- Over 17 million Americans are affected by some type of depression.
- There are several different types of depression. These include: major depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression), and psychotic depression.
10. Antidepressants are safe in general but in some cases they have been known to increase suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, teens, and young adults aged 18 to 24. (Something I learned the hard way! You can read about it here.)
They say knowledge is power and I have learned from my own experience that this really is true. The more I learned about depression, the easier it was to accept and deal with what I was going through. Knowing how many other people suffered from it made me see that I wasn’t alone and learning how it works and what can cause it made me feel a lot less, well, crazy. I hope these stats give you some of the “power” that you’ve been hoping for.
Please feel free to share this post with all of your loved ones, depressed or not. Had I known anything about depression before it came into my life, my road would have been a lot easier. Who knows who you could be helping!
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