It is estimated that over 340 million people in the world suffer from depression. Half of all victims do not recognize the illness and therefore never seek help. Untreated, depression is the most common cause of suicide and the incidence is unfortunately, on the rise. The World Health Organization has estimated that by the year 2020 “depression will be the greatest burden of ill-health to people in the developing world, and severe depression will be the second largest cause of death and disability”.
With these overwhelming statistics in mind, several questions arise. For starters what exactly is depression? We all have changes in mood from day to day, and we all have episodes in our life when we are sad for prolonged periods of time. Whether due to bereavement, unemployment, or even social isolation, when does too much sadness change from a natural occurrence to a serious disorder requiring help? And what are the causes of depression? Can we do anything to prevent them?
What is Depression?
Depression is a pervasive illness affecting almost 3 million Canadians. Depression is considered a mood disorder which is complicated by multiple and somewhat unclear causes. The symptoms may vary between individuals as do successful treatments.