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 affects about 16% 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.
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.