More than 16 million men and women in America – roughly 6.7 percent of the adult population – have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in America. In addition, 3.1 million adolescents are affected each year.
Many people experience the lonely feeling of short-term sadness or a “blue” mood, but unless it lasts for more than two weeks and is detrimental to a person’s ability to work, carry out usual daily activities or have satisfying personal relationships, it is not indicative of major depressive disorder.
Depression is not caused by one thing and often involves the interaction of diverse biological, psychological and social factors. The underlying emotion of depression is one of powerlessness and the inability to change a situation like:
Seeing a loved one or someone you care about live with depression can be very hard, but it is important to intervene early before it becomes serious enough for them to consider self-harm. It is especially important to remember that you must be non-judgmental in your approach so you don’t exacerbate the problem or push them away from their support system. To ensure that you provide the best care you can, here are a few communication skills to remember:
One way to help aid the mental health of your loved one is to become trained and certified to identify and respond to signs and symptoms of depression. Find a Mental Health First Aid course near you and #BeTheDifference in the life of someone who may need your support today.