Everyone feels blue now and then; it’s part of life. But when an individual goes for a period of weeks, months, or years of feeling sad, blue, or loss of interest in enjoyable activities and having problems like difficulty concentrating or low energy. They may be suffering from what doctors call “clinical depression.”
Depression is one of the most common health issues causing disability and work loss for people in the United States and worldwide. About 20-25% of people will experience clinical depression at some point in their lifetime. Depression affects daily functioning and quality of life similar to other major chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Depression is often described as a “silent killer” that brings the “double jeopardy” of illness coupled with social stigma and discrimination. Many people in our communities have been touched by the issue of depression. Whether directly as a suffering individual, or as a family member or loved one, work colleague, or friend.
For most people, depression can get better with treatment. “Talk therapy,” medicine, or other treatment methods can ease the pain of depression. The good news is that people who are depressed usually feel better with the right treatment.