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Depression Facts

What is Depression?

Depression is an illness affecting behavior, mood, thoughts, and the body. People who experience depression often report several of the following symptoms for an extended period of time:

  • Depressed/sad mood

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities

  • Sleeping too little or too much

  • Increased or decreased appetite

  • Feeling very agitated or slowed down

  • Frequent thoughts of death/suicide

Depression in Men

Depression in men can sometimes look different. Some men may experience some of the following symptoms, either in addition to or in place of the symptoms listed above:

  • Excessive anger or irritability

  • Social withdrawal

  • Alcohol or drug abuse

  • Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, or chest pain

How Common is Depression?

Roughly 1 out of 4 adults will experience at least one episode of depression in their lifetime.

About 1 out of 10 adults reports having experienced a depressive episode within the last year.

Approximately 6 million men will experience an episode of depression in the next year.

Is Depression Treatable?

Yes. Research has demonstrated that many forms of psychotherapy and medications can significantly reduce depressive symptoms.

Useful psychotherapy options include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps individuals change negative styles of thinking and behavior often associated with depression.

  • Interpersonal Therapy focuses on individuals' personal relationships that contribute to depression.

Antidepressant medications:

  • Are NOT addictive!

  • Include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and generally have the fewest side effects. Common SSRIs are Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil

What Can I Do to Feel Better NOW?

Read about depression. Educating yourself about what you're going through and the available treatment options can help you gain control over your life.

Exercise. Research has shown that exercise is an excellent technique for coping with stress, anxiety, and depression. It may help alleviate some of the symptoms and relieve tension in your body.

Talk to family and friends. Research has also shown that confiding in others can be a great way to get a handle on your problems. Confiding in others helps you sort things out in your mind, helps explain to others why you may not be "acting yourself," and helps you problem-solve with someone who cares about you.

Eat right. When your body doesn't function well, you don't feel well, and this can worsen depressive symptoms. To avoid this negative cycle, eat a balanced diet and take a daily multivitamin.

Talk to a professional. You can speak to a physician, social worker, psychotherapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. Each of these professionals should be knowledgeable about how to effectively treat depression.