Depression is quickly becoming one of the biggest medical disorders, and, unfortunately, killers, of all time. It affects people all over the world with no regard to age, sex, race, or financial background. Everyone feels blue during their lives, but some people are faced with factors that take their blueness to an entirely new level. Through medical treatment, psychotherapy, and mediation, people can recover from depression.
Sobering numbers on depression
Researching the statistics on depression has revealed just how widespread this problem has become. Nine and half percent of Americans over the age of eighteen suffer from some depressive order, including major depression, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder. Everyone in the world will be affected by depression in their lifetimes and the depression may not necessarily be their own. Already children as young as pre-schoolers are suffering clinical depression, and the rate of depression among kindergarteners is rising.
The numbers keep getting more sobering. Depression affects fifteen percent of the population of developed countries, thirty percent of those affected being the female. Eighty percent of the people suffering from depression are not being treated for it, and forty-one percent of them are too embarrassed to get help. Depression in students of all ages is the biggest reason behind absenteeism, and by the year 2020, it will be the second largest killer in the world.
And the most sobering statistic about depression is fifteen percent of the patients suffering from it will commit suicide. Fifteen percent too many.
How well does standard treatment work?
Depending on the research you read, antidepressants work for somewhere between thirty to forty-five percent of patients. That is less than half. Patients have to weigh the risks of taking medication such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft as they have been linked to violence, abnormal bleeding, brain tumours, and suicide. The FDA has banned the use of antidepressants for children with the exception of Prozac. And in some clinical studies, antidepressants worked as well as or less than placebos.
And therapy? It has been found that eighty percent of patients who have engaged in cognitive and behavioural therapies fell back into depression after a length of time.
What options are available?
Patients suffering from depression and really working to bring themselves out of it can succeed, but it takes patience, dedication, and a lot of hard work. It also takes a lot of trust between the patient and the doctor, and a lot of open communication.
Depression statistics are constantly changing as new research and discoveries are being made, but until scientists can pinpoint exactly what causes depression with certainty, steps are always being made to improve and find treatments that will work on a long-term basis. Depression has also been linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, eye problems and some types of cancer, making it more difficult to find the true cause of the disorder. At this point of time, all doctors can do is work with their patients to help alleviate their depressive symptoms and allow them to live a productive life.