Characterized by intense sadness and hopelessness, depression is a disorder that can wreak havoc on a person's life. However, the condition can also affect family members and friends who live and interact with a person who has depression. Although you or someone you know may have the disorder, depression is not understood well by most people. This guide will teach you a few important things you probably did not know about depression.
It Can Affect Anyone
One of the first things you need to know is that depression can affect anyone at any time. Not only can adults become depressed, but elderly patients, teens, and even children can face depression.
Although the median age is 32, an estimated 14.8 million American adults 18 years of age or older develop major depressive disorder at some point.
Depression does not care about a person's age, nor does it care about gender, financial status, or residency – anyone can develop and suffer from the disorder.
Different from Feeling Sad
Another thing you need to know about depression is that it is much different from just feeling sad. If you have had a bad day or are feeling down at some point in your life, that does not necessarily mean you are depressed. In most cases, these feelings of sadness are temporary and you will eventually be able to go back to living your normal life.
On the other hand, if the sadness and feelings of hopelessness persist for a few weeks, or you are having thoughts of suicide, you should talk with a medical professional immediately.
May Shorten Lifespan
You may be surprised to learn depression not only affects your emotional wellness – it can also affect your physical health, especially if it is left untreated.
Many patients struggling with depression do attempt or commit suicide, which has obvious negative effects on your physical health and overall ability to live.
In addition, depressed patients tend to exercise less, avoid healthy diets, and even participate in dangerous activities, such as using drugs and alcohol to cope with their emotional distress. Without exercise, eating healthy, and avoiding harmful substances, you are increasing your risk of heart disease, obesity, and various diseases.
If you or someone you love are showing signs of depression, seek help immediately, such as at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc. With an efficient diagnosis and proper care, you or your loved one can live a normal, healthy, and enjoyable life even after a depression diagnosis.