Depression is a common disorder, affecting over 350 million people worldwide. It is a disabling condition that adversely affects a person's family, work, or school life; sleeping and eating habits; and general health.
In the United States, the incidence of depression has increased every year in the past century, and now, according to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of ten people report experiencing a depressive episode.
What is depression like?
Depression is typically characterized by low energy and mood, low self-esteem, and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. It causes unnecessary suffering and with severe depression can be a risk factor for suicide.
The most commonly diagnosed type of depression is Major Depressive Disorder. Major depression involves either an overwhelming feeling of sadness or a loss of interest and pleasure in most usual activities for at least two weeks, along with some of the other symptoms listed below.