It is estimated that major depression will affect about 1 in 6 Americans at some point in their life. Symptoms of depression may include thinking about or attempting suicide or self-harm, but may also include more subtle symptoms such as fatigue, decreased appetite, poor concentration, either insomnia or excessive sleep, or feelings of hopelessness. Depression may resolve on its own in time, but those who have experienced depression are at risk of having it return. Effective treatment is available for many people with depression and may include counseling, medications, or other modalities.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide accounted for nearly 48,000 deaths in the United States in 2019 and was the 10th-leading cause of death for all Americans. It was the 2nd-leading cause of death for Americans ages 10-34 and the 4th-leading cause of death for ages 35-44. However, depression may affect health in other ways as well, and can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. A Dutch study published in 2002 found that depression nearly doubles the risk of dying from any cause. Again, it is important to remember that effective treatment is available for depression, also that many people who suffer from depression may not be aware of their diagnosis before getting medical attention.

My Pledge

“To address my mental well-being, I will talk to a healthcare provider about clinical depression.”