Depression is a common mental disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by persistent sadness, lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities, disturbed sleep and appetite, tiredness, and difficulty concentrating. It is one of the leading causes of disability and a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Women are more likely to experience depression than men, and it can also be accompanied by anxiety or eating disorders.
College students are particularly vulnerable to depression, with up to 11% of teens experiencing major depression. Depression can be triggered by a variety of events, such as the death of a loved one, losing a job, or being the victim of physical assault or serious disaster. People with bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression or manic-depressive illness) also experience depression. The group interpersonal therapy manual for depression describes the group treatment of depression.
Several types of psychotherapy (also called “psychotherapy” or counseling) can help people with depression. Other types of more recently introduced brain stimulation therapies used to treat drug-resistant depression include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (RTMS) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Another option for treatment-resistant depression is to add a different type of medication that can make an antidepressant more effective, such as an antipsychotic or anticonvulsant medication or bupropion. Alcohol and drug addiction can also affect the whole family. Substance abuse treatment works by helping family members understand how addiction affects them and how they can help their loved one recover.
Family interventions can be a first step to recovery, and there are ways to help children from families affected by alcohol and drug abuse. Depression is a serious medical illness that can have long-lasting or recurring effects on a person's ability to function and live a rewarding life. Pain and depression can coexist, making it even more difficult for people to cope with their symptoms. It is important for people to seek help if they are experiencing symptoms of depression so that they can get the treatment they need.