A Serious Condition
Due in no small part to the overabundance of stimuli and excess energy brought on by the expanding globalization, increasing unrest in many quarters of the globe, and the seemingly relentless saturation of media sensationalism in the Western world, it may perhaps come as no surprise to the more socially aware among this article’s readers that cases of major depression have been, and continue to be, vastly under-reported. Indeed, as the result of a recent nationwide comprehensive scientific study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, it has been conclusively determined that major depression currently affects the lives of an estimated 6.7% of the American population over age 18. Indeed, overall, it has been determined that some 20% to 25% of American citizens may fall prey at some point during their lifetime to an major attack of depression, whether (fortunately) temporary or indeterminately prolonged.
In fact, outbreaks of major depression indiscriminately target adults, teens, and the elderly without compunction or hesitation. Depression likewise all too frequently proceeds its dire course in lieu of timely diagnosis and treatment where children and the elderly are concerned. However, it’s suspected that nearly twice as many women seem to be at a credible risk to fall victim to an extended spell of depression than men.
What Causes Major Depression?
It is currently theorized that female hormonal changes during puberty, the menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy, and traumatic life events such as miscarriage may increase the propensity toward major depression. Adding to the bad news for members of the female gender are a myriad of other contributing “triggers” which may lead to the onset of major depression are such factors as increased responsibilities in the home or on the job. For many women, the daily challenges of balancing the needs of careers, children (especially as a single parent), relationship and social commitments, and perhaps assuming the role of caregiver to an elderly parent may dramatically tip the scales toward a manifestation of major depression.
Regardless of age, gender, creed, colour, or sexuality, depression, especially major depression, is a clinically diagnosed and professionally recognized disorder classifiable under the heading of mental illness. It is a disorder which has deleterious effects on not only the physical, but psychical health of the individual it ensnares. Depression affects and disrupts how one feels, thinks, perceives the world and others around them, and behaves toward that world and those others. Major depression, in particular, has been shown to be the root cause of a wide and far-ranging variety of emotional, cognitive, and purely physical disorders. An individual afflicted with major depression may have trouble engaging in commonly accepted daily activities, to the point where they simply give them up as meaningless and therefore superfluous.
Major depression is not a “weakness”, nor does it comprise the accrued harvest of some sort of karmic “failure” on the part of the sufferer. It is simply an illness that, given time and effort, will respond to properly apportioned and supervised treatment, and can be beaten.