Everyone experiences depression (Yes or no?)

In this article, we will try to answer the question: does everyone experiences depression by looking at two perspectives. We will then answer the questions of what is depression, the symptoms of depression, the types of depression and how is depression treated. The blog will also give a few facts and figures about depression. 

Does everyone experience depression? 

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders that is seen worldwide. Does this mean that everyone experiences depression? There are two ways to look at this question. 

Perspective 1: Does every human being on earth experience depression at least one in their lifetime 

No, this is not true. Yes, the majority of the population is experiencing depression in the present world. In fact, the rates of depression have increased in comparison to those in the past. However., this does not mean that every individual will experience depression. 

The cause of depression includes a combination of various factors. A person who is depressed not only has a biological cause but a mixture of biological, social, and psychological causes. This is called the biopsychosocial model. The model explains that if a person is predisposed to depression, meaning if any family member suffers from a mental health condition, then there are chances they might too have to suffer from it. However, a predisposing factor is not enough. There have been cases where people who are predisposed but do not experience depression. Therefore the social and psychological making of the person also comes into place. 

If a person faces any traumatic or stressful situation like the loss of loved ones, or extreme drug abuse, or anything that, might change the lives in one night, can act as the social factor leading to trigger depression. 

But we are left with the question of why do some people do not experience depression. This is where the psychological factor comes in. Many people who experience life-changing events might not have experienced depression. A very important factor here is the psychological makeup of the person. Some people might be resilient while others are not. 

According to Manchester University psychologist Dr. Rebecca Elliott, we are all situated somewhere on a sliding scale. At one end you have people who are very vulnerable. In the face of quite low stress or none at all, they’ll develop a mental health problem. On the other end, you have people who life has dealt a quite appalling hand with all sorts of stressful experiences, and yet they remain positive and optimistic. While most of us, she thinks, is somewhere in the middle.

Therefore, it is not necessary that all those who are predisposed or face an event might experience depression. All three factors have to work together for the experience of depression. A predisposed person experiencing a life-changing event, with a weak or low psychological makeup can experience depression. Others might not. 

Perspective 2: Do people of all ages experience depression? 

In this perspective, we talk about everyone experiencing depression in regards to their age. It is a false belief that children might not experience depression. I would like to burst the myth by saying that people of all ages are can experience depression. No one is immune to depression. Be it a child or an elderly person, given the events that turn out around them they can experience depression. 

It might be true that experience might be different, but the underlying problem remains the same. Children might experience any work stress or stress related to relationships, but they have their own causes such as relationship with parents, the death of a parent, experience in school that might lead to experiencing depression. 

In fact, depression may even look different in the different age groups. Older adults with depression may have less obvious symptoms, or they may be less likely to admit to feelings of sadness or grief. They are also more likely to have medical conditions, such as heart disease, which may cause or contribute to depression. Younger children with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die. Teens and older children might push people away, engage in substance abuse, eating disorders, and would be often irritable. 

Therefore, people of all ages are susceptible to depression. Nevertheless, what it may look like and the reason for it may differ greatly. 

What is depression? 

Deprsioon is a menatl health condition that people of every age, race and gender may expeince. Just like our very law that governs us without discriminating, do does depression. It affects proplr froma all wals of life. 

Depression is a seriosus and clinically disonsed mental helath consitiion. We all feel sad and low evry now and then. Having a bad day is quoite normal. However imagine  having a series of bad days for months. This would kill you. Well, precisely this is what depression is- a series of bad days where you do not feel like doing anything, no appetite no need for sleep, and no interest in anything but just lying in your own bed. 

Depression is the most prevalent mood disorder that usually affects the way we feel, think and behave. This is often associated with personal weakness. But before making a judgment of such it essential that you realize that a person does not choose to be depressed. It is like a fever we did not ask for. We do not call people fighting cancer too the weak right? The same logic applies to depression. 

To be clinically diagnosed with depression, you must have the symptoms for at least 2 weeks. 

Types of depression

Depression is classified into various types based on the reason behind it. The different types of depression are as follows: 

Major depressive disorder

This is what is classified as clinical depression. People with major depressive disorders have episodes of depression that may last for at least two weeks. This kind of depression has all the symptoms of depression that will mention later in the blog. 

Persistent depressive disorder

As the name suggests, people with the persistent depressive disorder also known as dysthymia experience depression fro a longer period of time. This means that the symptoms of depression such as sadness, irritability, loss of appetite, and sleep might be milder, but last for at least two years. 

Bipolar disorder 

This is a mood disorder with episodes of depression and mania or hypomania. People with bipolar disorder experience depression for two weeks and they might shift to a state of mania or hypomania. 

Cyclothymic disorder

Cyclothymic disorder is an uncommon condition that is often described as a milder form of bipolar disorder. The person experiences chronic fluctuating moods over at least two years, involving periods of hypomania (a mild to moderate level of mania) and periods of depressive symptoms, with very short periods (no more than two months) of normality between. The symptoms last for a shorter time, are less severe and are not as regular, so they don’t fit the criteria of bipolar disorder or major depression.

Postpartum depression.

Due to an imbalance in the hormonal state, women who give birth to a baby usually feel depressed after the delivery. This may range from baby blues to postpartum depression, where the mother is unable to take care of the newborn infant. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer.

Psychotic depression

Sometimes, people with a depressive condition can lose touch with reality. This can involve hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) or delusions (false beliefs that are not shared by others), such as believing they are bad or evil, or that they are being watched or followed, or that everyone is against them. This is known as psychotic depression.

A few facts and figures about depression 

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 17.3 million adults in the United State, equaling 7.1% of all adults in the country have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.
  • The median age of depression onset is 32.5 years old.
  • 8.7% of women have depression.
  • 5.3% of men have depression.
  • Approximately 5% of the U.S. population experiences seasonal depression in any given year.
  • One in seven women experiences postpartum depression.
  • 3.1 million young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year in the United States.
  • 2% to 3% of children ages 6 to 12 may have serious depression.
  • Only 1 in 5 people receive treatment consistent with current practice guidelines.
  • 35% of adults with depression receive no treatment at all.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

How to recognize depression? 

Here are a few signs and symptoms that will help you recognize what depression looks like

  • A sense of sadness and emptiness 
  • Lack of pleasure in any activities (anhedonia)
  • Hopelessness 
  • Feeling unworthy 
  • Excessive guilt for no reason 
  • Extreme anger 
  • Constant irritation 
  • Fatigue 
  • Insomnia or lack of sleep
  • Unable to concentrate on anything
  • Lack of appetite or overeating 
  • Physical pains and aches across the body 
  • Suicidal thoughts 

Treatments for depression

Depression is of course treatable. It is a different thing that most people do not find the right treatment. Nevertheless, psychiatrists and psychologists have worked together for the development of the treatment of depression. The combination therapy of psychotherapy with medication is seen as the most effective way to treat depression. 

There is a range of medications that can be used for depression. 

Esketamine, Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), Norepinephrine, and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a few medications that can be used as antidepressants. 

In addition therapies like Behavioral activation, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Interpersonal therapy, Problem-solving therapy, Psychodynamic therapy, Social skills therapy, Supportive counseling, Electroconclusive Therapy, and Transcranial magnetic stimulation can also be used with medication for the treatment of depression. 

 Conclusion 

In this article, we have tried to answer the question of does everyone experiences depression by looking at two perspectives. We have then answered the questions of what is depression, the symptoms of depression, the types of depression and how is depression treated. The blog has also given a few facts and figures about depression. 

FAQs: Everyone Experiences Depression

What percentage of students have symptoms of depression?

Around 20 percent of teens experience depression at least once in their lifetime. Among them, 10 % experience the symptoms only once, while the others are treated for long term depression 

What profession has the highest rate of depression?

The five industries most affected by depression cover a large spectrum. From those who were surveyed, public and private transit showed the highest at 16.2% of workers suffering depression, followed by real estate (15.7%), social services (14.6%), manufacturing (14.3%), and personal services (14.3%).

How many people in the world suffer from depression?

According to WHO, 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression, worldwide. 

References 

https://www.verywellmind.com/depression-facts-you-should-know-1067617

https://www.quora.com/Does-everyone-go-through-depression-throughout-their-lives

http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/factsheets/dep.htm

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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