Clinical, or major depression is the world's No. 1 mental disorder, the 2nd most disabling condition in the world behind heart disease. And it's growing at an alarming rate. (2)

Depression facts are important - understanding how clinical depression works is the first step towards beating it. After that we will look at what research says are the best way to get rid of depression, and keep it away.

Clinical depression is a health condition of depression with mental and physical components reaching criteria generally accepted by clinicians.
Although nearly any mood with some element of sadness may colloquially be termed a depression, clinical depression is more than just a temporary state of sadness. Symptoms lasting two weeks or longer in duration, and of a severity that they begin to interfere with daily living, can generally be said to constitute clinical depression. Using DSM-IV-TR terminology, someone with a major depressive disorder can, by definition, be said to be suffering from clinical depression.

Clinical depression affects about 16%[1] of the population on at least one occasion in their lives. The mean age of onset, from a number of studies, is in the late 20s. About 2 times as many females as males report or receive treatment for clinical depression, though this imbalance is shrinking over the course of recent history; this difference seems to completely disappear after the age of 50 - 55, when most females have passed the end of menopause. Clinical depression is currently the leading cause of disability in the US as well as other countries, and is expected to become the second leading cause of disability worldwide (after heart disease) by the year 2020, according to the World Health Organization[2].

Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind accidents and homicide. Most people, even if they are not personally affected by depression, will most likely at some stage or another have to deal with a person who is. Thus it is extremely important that everyone should know how to handle such a situation, just as it is important for every person to know basic lifesaving procedures such as CPR. Because of various attitudes entrenched in modern western culture, too many people regard mental health as being somewhat less important than physical health, and too many lives are destroyed because of this outlook.