Depression is both a brain disorder and a state of mind. The brain is unique—it is the only organ whose function we consciously experience because the brain is the organ of the mind. Illnesses of the mind-brain affect tens of millions of people in the United States. Depression is by far the most prevalent, representing 99% of all mind-brain illness. (Schizophrenia and major psychotic illness represent the remaining 1%). The umbrella of depression encompasses Major Depressive Disorder and its related mood disorders including bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety disorder, and suicide.
Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men.
When you’re depressed, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under a dark shadow. However, even the most severe depression is treatable. So, if your depression is keeping you from living the life you want to, don’t hesitate to seek help. From therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes, there are many different treatment options available.
Of course, just as no two people are affected by depression in exactly the same way, neither is there a “one size fits all” treatment to cure depression. What works for one person might not work for another. By becoming as informed as possible, though, you can find the treatments that can help you overcome depression, feel happy and hopeful again, and reclaim your life.