By now most of us know the symptoms of major depression well: Loss of pleasure in favorite activities, irritability, significant weight gain or loss, changes in sleeping habits, loss of energy, feeling worthless, an inability to think clearly, indecisiveness, hopelessness, and at its most severe, recurring thoughts of suicide.
The impact of depression is debilitating. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people globally suffer from depression — approximately 5 percent of the world’s population — and it’s the leading cause of disability. What’s worse, even in high-income countries nearly 50 percent of those with the illness don’t seek treatment.
And while depression reaches the lives of so many worldwide and is arguably one of the most studied mental illnesses, we still know little about its origins. Is depression genetic? Is it environmental? Short answer: It’s complicated.
Continue reading Is Depression Genetic?
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“3 Misconceptions Your Coworker With Depression Wants You To Stop Believing” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an online career community for women, by women.
In the past few years, there has been an uptick in people being more open about mental health issues, and for that, I will forever be grateful. For too long, people felt ashamed to admit when they were battling anxiety or depression, even though they are two of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., alone.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few irritatingly persistent stereotypes and misconceptions about depression around. Here are a few things that your coworker with depression wants you to stop believing.
Continue reading 3 Misconceptions Your Coworker With Depression Wants You To Stop Believing
Even if you don’t have seasonal affective disorder or another kind of depression, it’s absolutely possible for you to feel the winter blues. Unless you’re one of those people who enjoys the cold and shorter days, you may have to take some precautions to make sure you don’t slip into a dark place…and I’m not just talking about the lack of daylight hours!
As the winter barrels ahead, use it as an opportunity to really get in tune with your feelings. Take note of your emotions and evaluate if the holiday season and the colder weather have been affecting you negatively. If they have been impacting you, don’t worry. There’s a bunch of things you can do to cheer up, even just a bit.
Continue reading A Guide to Not Being Miserable During the Winter Months
Everyone knows exercise is great for depression. Studies show physical activity has an equivalent effect to medication for Major Depressive Disorder. As helpful as these findings are, they are of no use when people are unable to get motivated to exercise. So many people with depression feel they are lazy when they don’t exercise. This self-criticism makes them feel worse and, in a vicious cycle, leaves them feeling even more depressed.
Nonetheless, there are many reasons people with depression find it difficult to work out, none of which include laziness. Below are only a few. If you have depression, you can use the insights to better understand the condition and forgive yourself when you have trouble getting motivated to exercise. Continue reading 6 Reasons Why It’s Hard for People With Depression to Exercise
Imagine someone who seems to be living a perfect life. She has a great job, a loving and supportive partner, and plenty of fun outside of work. Getting to the office on time is no problem, and she is one of the most productive employees at her company.
There’s one problem, though: she is miserable, unable to derive happiness from much of anything. Because she lives with high-functioning depression, it is difficult for people to understand how anything could be wrong. Continue reading What Is High-Functioning Depression?
Up to 10% of the American population lives with SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder]. In the fall and winter months, when the days are shortest, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be very challenging to deal with. As the name suggests, those who live with the disorder may experience a cluster of depressive symptoms such as feeling low or depressed, sleeping too much, experiencing low motivation, and so forth.
SAD can put a strain on those living with the condition. This post includes some tips to help you prepare for the upcoming season of SAD. Continue reading 5 Tips to Prepare for the Season of SAD
To make life with depression even more depressing, the mental illness can seriously mess with your sex life. Unfortunately, depression can go hand in hand with sexual dysfunction, which can affect everything from your libido to your ability to orgasm. This can be rough on not only the person suffering, but also on the person’s partner, and can put a strain on relationships.
Just as not everyone feels comfortable opening up about their mental illness, not everyone feels comfortable opening up about their sex life. And they’re even less likely to open up about it if they have a problem and feel like they’re broken or not “normal.” Can you blame anyone for not divulging when the word “dysfunction” has such a negative denotation? Sadly, it’s pretty common for people with depression to have their sex life interrupted in one way or another. Continue reading Mental Health in Bed: Sex and Depression
Sometimes popular phrases used to describe mental illness do not come from research, universities or mental health organizations. Instead people who live with certain disorders use unofficial terms to express levels of severity and describe how symptoms are affecting their functioning.
Because many sufferers are therapy clients and use this language during sessions, mental health professionals gradually adopt new labels into their clinical lexicon. This acceptance gives the language more weight and credibility. Various definitions spread via word of mouth and the internet until there is a collective sense of meaning.
“Crippling depression” is a perfect example of this phenomenon. People invented the phrase to stress the fact that depression can be more than a source of pain and discomfort. The illness can limit the will and capability to uphold a basic standard of living. Now that the term has become more popular, both the curious and afflicted are trying to understand it. Continue reading What Is Crippling Depression?
In high school I lied to my doctor. My mother had long suspected I was dealing with depression. She talked to our family doctor about it and then scheduled an appointment for me.
When I went in for my check up, my doctor asked me if I was depressed. I lied. I told him that I was not depressed.
Continue reading Lying About Your Depression Will Make It Worse
The stigma of depression is alive.
When we have depression, we are “lesser people.” We are incapable of living a “normal” life, holding down a job, or keeping a relationship. We are the ones that “normal” people don’t know how to deal with. They keep away, because we are contagious. They don’t want to contract the “crazy.”
At least, this is what many people think. None of it is true, of course. This is the stigma that follows us around daily when we suffer from depression — like a mosquito we keep swatting away that keeps coming back to bite us.
On whom can we place the blame for the creation and longevity of the stigma? Our friends and family who don’t fully understand depression? The media? Society as a whole? Continue reading The Stigma of Depression