What is Clinical Depression?
Clinical depression is more than just the blues — the temporary feelings of sadness we all have from time to time. It is a serious condition that affects all aspects of a person’s everyday life, including eating, sleeping, working, relationships, and how that person thinks about himself. People who are clinically depressed cannot will themselves to snap out of it. If they do not receive appropriate treatment their symptoms can continue for weeks, months, or years.
An estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least ome major depressive episode last year. People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience depression, but it does affect some groups of people more than others. Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18 to 25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people age 50 or older.
Families for Depression Awareness (http://familyaware.org/ ) is a national nonprofit organization helping families recognize and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides.
Erika’s Lighthouse (www.erikaslighthouse.org ) is an organization devoted to educating communities about teen depression, eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness, and empowering teens to take charge of their mental health.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA, www.dbsalliance.org) provides hope, help, support, and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders. Because DBSA was created for and is led by individuals living with mood disorders, its vision, mission and programming are always informed by the personal, lived experience of peers.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (www.adaa.org) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and mood disorders, OCD, and PTSD and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them through education, practice, and research.
Freedom from Fear (www.freedomfromfear.org) is a national non-profit mental illness advocacy organization and a resource site about anxiety and depression.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org) aims to increase awareness about mental illnesses and improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from them. Its website defines depression and anxiety and discusses the types and components of medications used to treat these illnesses.