One in four Americans will have depression at some point in their life. That makes the odds almost 100% that it is you, or you have a relative who suffers from it, or a friend. Or you know someone who is supporting someone who has depression.
- Major Depressive Disorder
– The leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3.
– While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5 years old.
– It is far more prevalent in women than in men.
Our knowledge of mental illness is still evolving. But the stigma associated with it is as strong as ever. People are very guarded about depression. Even if they seek treatment, they are unclear about what can be disclosed. Fear of hospitalization, real or imagined, keeps many from seeking help.
Or worse, they only share little things and hope it is enough. I was guilty of this in the past, sharing just enough to get medicine. I was afraid that sharing too much information would get me committed. Of course, that approach didn’t work for very long, and years later I ended up checking into a hospital. I am proof this band-aid approach is often not enough and makes the next down cycle worse.
Those that opened up and spoke at the CBT class I attended this week made it very clear they were concerned about their job finding out. Many of them have experienced first-hand a boss who isn’t aware of the causes of depression and tells them “it’s all in your head.”
People get screened for all kinds of “normal” diseases, yet a diagnosis of depression often is as unnerving as the disease itself. And depression is a disease, a disorder. Yet, even for me, “all in your head” has crossed my mind. But now being able to talk about it, regardless of the perceived personal risks, is what I am bracing to do. Having spent most of my adult life not facing it, I know as well as anyone what the costs are.
I am 1 in 4, I have depression. My blog is a daily record of my progress. My hope is that others who may not be sure of their status in relation to depression will use this as a starting point to get answers. There is nothing like the naked truth to make the next step clear. Check out my resources page for more information.
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