Major depression, also known as clinical or unipolar depression, is a serious mental disorder that affects 15 million adults across the US. That's as much as eight percent of the nation's adult population. Different from typical emotional experiences such as grief or loss, major depression is constant and can influence a person's train of thought, actions, disposition, and physical health. Major depression is the leading cause of disability in the US, as well as in numerous other established nations.
For unknown reasons, depression affects women twice as much as it does men. Greater than 50 percent of those who have endured an initial depressive episode will go on to experience recurrent episodes that may happen as often as twice per year. If left untreated, symptoms can become more frequent and worsen over time. The longer a depressed person goes without help, the more likely they are to commit suicide.
Symptoms of Major Depression
The first bout of major depression may be quite subtle, featuring a gradual onset and mild symptoms. These symptoms can drastically alter the person's personality, as well as how they function in comparison with how they acted before depression set in. Symptoms can include:
When numerous symptoms from the list above occur simultaneously, persist for more than two weeks, and impose on your ability to function normally on a daily basis, professional help should be sought.
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