Depression Awareness Week runs April 20-26, a seven-day observance run by the Depression Alliance and dedicated to spreading awareness of the mental disorder. Depression is often characterized by low moods, low self-esteem and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities one typically enjoys.
Depression is an often misunderstood disorder, but organizations like DoSomething.org and the National Alliance on Mental Illness hope to help people understand what it’s like to struggle with the disease. Last year, game developer Zoe Quinn launched interactive fiction game “Depression Quest” on Steam, a game that helped players understand what it was like to engage in everyday activities when dealing with depression.
Want to learn more about depression? Here are 10 basic facts:
2. One in four adults will suffer from an episode of depression before the age of 24.
3. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men.
4. Symptoms of depression can vary, but typically include feelings of guilt and hopelessness, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy and fatigue.
5. St. John’s Wort, a flowering plant and medicinal herb, has been shown to help with depression in typical cases.
6. More than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression worldwide. That’s more than the entire population of the United States.
7. The World Health Organization predicted depression will become the second biggest medical cause of disability in 15 years, second only to HIV/AIDS.
8. Depression often occurs when other psychiatric health problems are present, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.
9. Most prescription antidepressants increase the user’s serotonin, dopamine or norepinephrine levels. Some of the most popular antidepressants are Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro and Effexor.