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60 Random Facts About . . .

Depression

  1. The main risk factors of depression include past abuse (physical, sexual, emotional), certain medications (drugs that treat high blood pressure), conflict with family members or friends, death or loss, chronic or major illness, and a family history of depression.a
  2. Even positive events such as graduating, getting married, a new job can lead to depression.b
  3. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also suffer from depression.e
  4. More than 20 million people in the United States suffer from depression in a given year.a
  5. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men. Women may be at a higher risk for depression due in part to estrogen, which may alter the activity of neurotransmitters that contribute to depression.b
  6. At some point in their lives, about one in four Americans will experience depression.g
  7. Once men hit midlife, they may face an increased risk of depression due to the decrease of testosterone.b
  8. Men typically experience depression differently from women and use different means to cope. For example, while women may feel hopeless, men may feel irritable. Women may crave a listening ear, while men may became socially withdrawn or become violent or abusive.b
  9. Researchers have recently found that those who suffer from depression are at risk for low bone mineral density. Depressed women are especially at risk for developing osteoporosis.c
  10. Abraham Lincoln
    Scholars suggest that Abraham Lincoln’s life-long depression actually contributed to his greatness
  11. Abraham Lincoln first fell into a deep depression after Ann Rutledge, his first love, died. Lincoln reportedly suffered from chronic depression his entire life.b
  12. In established market economies such as the United States, depression is the leading form of mental illness.g
  13. As many as 15% of those who suffer from some form of depression take their lives each year.g
  14. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), more than 6% of children suffer from depression and 4.9% of them have major depression.g
  15. Self-mutilation (cutting or burning) is one way in which individuals show they are depressed.b
  16. Because the brains of older people are more vulnerable to chemical abnormalities, they are more likely than young people to suffer depression.b
  17. Depressed people get colds more frequently than non-depressed people.a
  18. Sufferers of depression are more likely to have a heart attack than those who are not depressed. Additionally, people who have heart attacks or heart surgery are more at risk for depression.g
  19. During the Middle Ages, mentally ill people were seen to be under the influence of the devil or other evil spirits.b
  20. The first mental asylum in the U.S opened in 1773 in Williamsburg, Virginia.a
  21. Freud, who revolutionized the practice of psychiatry with his theories of the unconscious, postulated that depression comes from anger turned against oneself.b
  22. depressed girl
    Children without adequate nurturing can suffer from severe depression
  23. Approximately 80% sufferers of depression are not receiving treatment.a
  24. Recent research suggests that depression can shorten the lives of people with cancer by years.g
  25. A kind of depression called hospitalism (anaclitic depression) can be seen in institutions where children did not receive enough emotional care. These children become apathetic and withdrawn, even though they may be cared for physically.e
  26. Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, affects nearly 6 million American adults in a given year.e
  27. Researchers have found a direct relationship between depression and the thickening of the lining of the carotid artery in women, a major risk factor for stroke.g
  28. The high rate of home foreclosures have plunged many homeowners into depression. Researchers suggest that the foreclosure crisis is, consequently, a health crisis.h
  29. When children have both asthma and depression, their asthma typically is worse than that of asthmatic children who are not depressed.g
  30. The average video gamer is typically 35-year-old male who is most likely depressed, overweight, and introverted.f
  31. Depression may aggravate inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.g
  32. An August 2009 report by the U.S. FDA suggests that the risk of suicide in people younger than 25 increased with antidepressant medicine, had no effect in those age 25-64, and decreased in those 65 and older.i
  33. Sufferers of depression may experience more cognitive impairment on less sunny days than on sunny days.g
  34. A depressed woman is more likely to give birth early, increasing health risks for both the woman and the baby. Between 14 and 23% of pregnant women experience some sort of depressive disorder.d
  35. seafood
    Eating seafood while pregnant can decrease pregnancy-related depression
  36. Eating seafood rich in Omega-3 may help pregnant women with depression.d
  37. Overweight children feel more lonely and anxious than their normal-weight peers as early as kindergarten. Both boys and girls who felt depressed in kindergarten got worse over time.g
  38. A recent Dutch study suggests that depressed dads are twice as likely to have an infant who cries excessively than dads who are not depressed.b
  39. Postpartum depression affects about 10% of new mothers, according to the National Women’s Health Information.a
  40. Fifty-eight percent of caregivers for an elderly relative experience symptoms of depression.b
  41. Perimenopause (menopause transition) and the resulting reduced and fluctuating hormone levels can trigger depression.c
  42. Long-term use of marijuana leads to changes in dopamine production and has been implicated in the onset of depressive symptoms.b
  43. Mental Health America reports that over 5.5 million adults in the United States suffer from bipolar disorder, or manic depression, in a given year. This illness tends to run in families.b
  44. People with depression are five times more likely to have a breathing-related sleep disorder than non-depressed people.f
  45. William Styron wrote about his experiences with major depression in the book Darkness Visible. He described depression as “a howling tempest in the brain,” “dreadful, pouncing seizures of anxiety,” a “kind of numbness, an enervation, an odd fragility—as if my body had actually become frail, hypersensitive, and somehow disjointed and clumsy.”b
  46. bell jar
    Sylvia Plath describes depression as being trapped in a suffocating bell jar
  47. Author Sylvia Plath described her depression in terms a bell jar, which is a glass dome placed over fragile items to protect them. Her metaphor catches the terrifying sense of feeling both disconnected and suffocated; she can’t join with others and others can’t reach her.b
  48. Patients with depression may develop agoraphobia, or a fear of going out in public.a
  49. The earliest medical description of depression dates back to Hippocrates, the Greek “father of medicine,” who attributed depression, or melancholy, to an imbalance of the body’s four humors. The theory was that too much black bile created a melancholic temperament—literally melanin (black) and cholia (bile). To overcome depression, Hippocrates recommended rebalancing body systems using relaxation and healthy living strategies as well as blood-letting and leeches.a
  50. The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the second highest medical cause of disability by the year 2030, second only to HIV/AIDS.g
  51. The lifetime risk of developing depression in those born in the decades after WWII is increasing. The age of depression onset is becoming increasingly younger.b Today the average age for the onset of depression varies between 24-35 years of age, with a mean age of 27.g
  52. Many creative individuals have experienced depression, including Robert Schumann, Ludwig van Beethoven, Peter Tchaikovsky, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Plath.a
  53. On a worldwide basis, depression ranks fourth as a cause of disability and early death according to the Global Burden of Disease Study.g
  54. Depression often presents itself in four ways: mood changes, cognitive (memory and thought process) changes, physical changes, and behavioral changes.e
  55. Long-term use of some prescription medications may cause depressive symptoms, such as corticosteroids (Deltasone, Orasone), the anti-inflammatory Interferon (Avonex, Rebetron), bronchodilators (Slo-phyllin, Theo-Dur), stimulants (e.g., diet pills), sleeping and anti-anxiety pills (Valium, Librium), acne medications (Accutane), some blood pressure and heart medications, oral contraceptives, and anticancer drugs (tamoxifen).b
  56. Some diseases are interconnected with depression, such as thyroid problems, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic pain.g
  57. Researchers have found that the most troubling and disabling factor among Parkinson’s patients was depression rather than the physical limitations caused by the disease or the effects of the medicine.g
  58. Depression is common among those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.a
  59. depressed at work
    Depression in the United States is estimated to cost $44 billion
  60. The total cost of depression in the Untied States are estimated to be $44 billion: $12 billion in direct costs of treatment, $8 billion in premature death, and $24 billion in absenteeism and reduced productivity at work. These do not include out-of-pocket family expenses, costs of minor and untreated depression, excessive hospitalization, general medical services, and diagnostic tests.g
  61. Depressed individuals have two times greater overall mortality risk than the general population due to direct (e.g., suicide) and indirect (medical illness) causes.g
  62. Brain-imaging research suggests that the elderly who suffer brain tissue damage due to high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol are more likely to develop depression. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regulatory, and getting appropriate and timely medical care reduces the risk of developing depression in older age.b
  63. Types of depression include major depression, dysthymia, adjustment disorders, and bipolar disorders. Within each of these main categories are several subtypes.a
  64. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is the term for depressive periods that are related to a change of season. SAD is four times more common in women than in men.b
  65. Depression may occur in as many as 1 in 33 children and 1 in 8 teenagers in the United States. Once a child or teenage has an episode of depression, he or she has a greater than 50% chance of experiencing another episode in the next five years.b

-- Posted October 27, 2009

References

a Berne, Emma Carlson. 2007. Depression. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group.

b Brees, Karen K, PhD. 2008. The Everything Guide to Depression. Avon, MA: F+W Publications, Inc.

c “Depression Hard on the Bones.” Reuters Health. September 17, 2009. Accessed: September 27, 2009.

d “Eating Seafood While Pregnant May Boost Mood.” Reuters Health. July 30, 2009. Accessed: September 26, 2009.

e Edwards, Virginia, M.D. 2002. Depression and Bipolar Disorders: Everything You Need to Know. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books Inc.

f Hendrick, Bill. “Adults Playing Video Games: Health Risks?WebMD.com. August 20, 2009. Accessed: September 28, 2009.

g Lam, Raymond W. and Hiram Wok. 2008. Depression. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

h Preidt, Robert. “Foreclosures Plunge People into Depression.” University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, News Release August 18, 2009. Accessed: September 27, 2009.

i “Suicide Risk with Antidepressants Falls with Age.” HealthDay. August 12, 2009. Accessed: September 28, 2009.