Depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.
Sadness is a normal human emotion that we all feel from time to time. It’s usually a response to a loss, rejection or other negative event. Depression is different. Depression can cause feelings of sadness that go on for weeks or months at a time and interfere with your everyday life.
The symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe. Sometimes it might be hard for you (or someone else) to recognize the symptoms of depression, especially if they are subtle or develop over an extended period of time. Some people also don’t want to admit when they have symptoms of depression because they don’t like feeling depressed or they think they should be able to handle their problems alone or are ashamed of how they feel. But if you think you may be depressed, help is available—and the sooner you seek help, the sooner you’ll start feeling better.
Depression signs and symptoms include:
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed (including sex)
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
Depression affects about 10% of adults in the United States.
Let’s break this number down. That’s more than 26 million people who have suffered from depression in the past year, probably not including those who have never been diagnosed or reached out for help. The lifetime prevalence of depression is even higher—between 15 and 20%.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States and can happen to anyone—no matter your age, gender, race/ethnicity, or social background. It is treatable with therapy/counseling and medication.
No two people are affected the same way by depression.
Depression is a serious condition that can affect every aspect of your life. You may have some symptoms listed above, or you may experience depression in other ways. Depression can also vary in severity and duration from person to person. It’s important to remember that no one experiences depression the same way — just because it doesn’t look like what you’ve seen on TV or in a movie, doesn’t mean you aren’t depressed. If you think you might be depressed, talk to someone about it. Reach out to your doctor or a mental health professional for help; they are there to support and help you manage the condition.
Women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men.
Depression is more common in women than men. Women can also have different experiences with depression than men. For example, hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of depression in some women. It’s also possible that women are more likely to experience depression after having a child, due to the demands of caring for a baby and possibly other children at home while also trying to keep up with work, family responsibilities, and social engagements. Nonetheless, men and boys may be less likely to seek help when they have symptoms of depression.
People over the age of 65 are at increased risk for developing clinical depression because of factors such as medical illness, loneliness or boredom due to retirement, loss of loved ones through death or relocation away from family members, or other life changes that can occur as we get older. Some medications used to treat various physical conditions may also affect mood or cause depressive symptoms; it’s important for doctors prescribing these medications to be aware if patients are exhibiting any signs of mood disturbances so they can speak with them about their concerns.
It’s normal to have days when you’re feeling down, but if your low moods last for long periods of time you may have clinical depression.
Depression is a mental health issue. There are different types and causes of depression, but in general it’s when low moods last for long periods of time.
Although it can be confusing, depression is not the same as being unhappy or feeling sad. It’s normal to have down days and feel unhappy about things that have happened, but if these low moods continue for a long time you may have clinical depression.
Depression is common problem that can affect anyone at any age. Some people only experience one episode during their life, but for most people it will come back at some point in their lives.(depression statistics)
You can feel depressed without having the typical symptoms of depression.
You can feel depressed without having the typical symptoms of depression.
Many people think that depression involves constant sadness, but in fact, it’s a bit more complicated than that. While some people may only experience depression as a sense of sadness, many people also have other symptoms, such as physical pain and fatigue. Depression can present itself differently depending on the individual. For example:
- Physical illness: Some people may experience depression as aches and pains, headaches, or digestive problems with no known cause. They can’t seem to find anything physically wrong with them; however, they are still unable to function because of the pain they feel daily. This is especially true if they don’t have any prior history of health problems or chronic conditions like arthritis or cancer.
- Psychological illness: Depression might be experienced mainly in psychological ways—for instance, through negative thinking patterns like telling yourself you aren’t good enough or criticizing yourself for not living up to your own expectations. You might also struggle with feelings of sadness or hopelessness for much longer than what would be considered “normal.”
- Both physical and psychological illness: Some people may experience both physical aches and pains along with emotional symptoms like hopelessness or lack of energy. In this case depression is affecting them both emotionally AND physically which means their life will likely be impacted in multiple ways including work/school relationships etc…
Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as depression.
- You may have a health condition causing your depression.
- Some people with hypothyroidism experience symptoms of depression along with other symptoms like fatigue, constipation, weight gain, and joint pain.
- Research suggests that almost 15 percent of people with COPD experience depression as well.
- Depression often develops in people who suffer strokes or heart attacks.
- People with cancer are at least twice as likely to develop depression than the general population.
If you think you might be depressed, get a professional evaluation. It is possible to treat depression effectively.
Many people who are depressed do not seek treatment. They may feel too embarrassed or ashamed to admit to feelings of sadness and hopelessness, or they may believe that depression is a personal weakness rather than a serious medical illness.
The fact is, depression is an illness that can be treated. It is important for everyone who thinks he or she may be suffering from depression to get an evaluation from a qualified mental health professional. Without proper treatment, symptoms of depression may last for weeks, months, or years.
Depression affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior and physical well-being. It can make it difficult to function at home or work and relate to others. Many people don’t realize how serious the illness can be and how effective treatment can be in relieving symptoms. If you think you would benefit from professional help with your depression symptoms but your concerns about possible stigma are holding you back, consider these facts:
- Depression is a real medical condition that has nothing to do with being weak or lazy
- Getting appropriate treatment will help you feel better faster and return to functioning at full capacity sooner
- Seeking help takes courage—and it’s worth the effort
Why Participate In A Clinical Trial For Depression?
You may receive free medication and/or psychotherapy.
Many people consider participating in a clinical trial because treatment can be provided for no cost or with minimal out-of-pocket costs.
In some cases, study volunteers may even receive monetary compensation for their time and travel to the study center.
Participants should also bear in mind that any drug or therapy being tested by a research team is likely new and not yet available on the market. This means that there could be side effects for participants during the trial period, as well as unknown efficacy without extensive testing. Participants must weigh these considerations when deciding if a particular depression clinical trial is right for them.
The length of time required to participate in a depression clinical trial varies widely depending on which stage the research is in and how many participants are needed. It’s important to understand what will be expected of you before signing up so that you can make sure it fits into your lifestyle.
There are several stages of clinical trials (see below), each requiring different amounts of time and commitments from participants; however, once you enroll, it’s important to complete a full cycle of participation unless otherwise directed by your doctor or research team. Finally, make sure to read over all materials describing the clinical trial thoroughly before signing any informed consent forms—this includes information about possible risks or discomforts associated with participation.
You will be monitored closely by doctors, nurses and other clinic staff.
- Your vital signs will be measured, including your blood pressure and heart rate. You might have other tests to measure things like your blood oxygen level and the electrical activity of your heart.
- You might have a physical exam from the study doctor or nurse. The doctor or nurse will check for any side effects you might be having from the study medicine.
- In some cases, you may also have other tests to help learn about how the study medicine is working in your body to treat depression. These may include blood tests, urine tests or scans that use a small amount of radiation (such as an X-ray or CT scan).
Depending on the study, you may need to come to the clinic frequently so that your progress can be tracked.
Depending on the study design and goals, you may be required to visit the testing center or clinic often. Frequent check-ins are helpful for monitoring your progress and collecting data about your reactions to the treatment. It’s important that any experiment has indicators for measuring progress, such as a questionnaire or blood draw.
Here are some examples of what might be measured during an experiment:
- Blood tests can show if there are any changes in your hormone levels or other bodily processes.
- Questionnaires can evaluate whether you’re experiencing fewer symptoms of depression.
- Activity trackers can collect data on how much you sleep, walk, exercise, and even how fast your heart beats throughout the day. Your heart rate is connected to your nervous system!
It is possible that you could get a placebo rather than an active medication. A placebo is a pill or liquid that looks like a medication but actually has no medicine in it.
- Placebos are commonly used in clinical trials to help researchers compare the effectiveness of new medications.
- The placebo effect is a real phenomenon, with research showing that it is due to an improvement in a person’s expectation of their health. It also appears that the greater a patient’s belief in the medication, the more likely they are to experience this positive change.
- Risks associated with taking placebos long term include having your disease become worse or no longer responding if you actually need medication. Additionally, if you’ve been taking placebos and then start taking effective (but not identical) medications, the placebo effect could cause negative side effects or make one of the medications less effective.
There are some risks to participating in any medical study. For instance, side effects may occur with the medication being tested. Your health care team will give you all the information you need so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to take part in the trial.
- Some side effects may be unpleasant or even dangerous. Examples of these include fatigue, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, anxiety and more.
- Some side effects may mimic the symptoms being treated: for example, depression or suicidal thoughts.
- Some side effects can cause dependency or addiction to the medication being tested.
- Some medications may result in weight gain.
If at any time during the course of your treatment you are uncomfortable with the medication or the side effects become unbearable, you should contact your doctor or nurse immediately
Should you experience any side effects that you find unbearable or if you feel like the prescribed medication is having an adverse effect on your health, it’s imperative that you contact your doctor or nurse immediately.
You may have received their contact details in written form with your treatment plan at the beginning of the trial, but if not, call the study coordinator for this information. If for some reason you can’t reach your doctor or nurse through a phone call, visit them in person at their office as soon as possible so they can be aware of this issue.
If it has been less than four hours since taking the medication then throw up immediately (if possible) to rid yourself from its contents and decrease their effect on your body. After throwing up, wait 30 minutes before contacting your doctor or nurse so they can determine whether any other actions need to be taken on your part.
It is good to have informed consent before taking part in a clinical trial for depression
It is important that you understand what rights you have as a study participant. For example, you may withdraw from the study at any time for any reason without penalty and your continued participation should not be conditioned on your agreement to take part in the study. You also have a right to remain anonymous and are entitled to compensation for expenses incurred as a result of participating in the study.
You might also want to inquire about how participants in the trial will be monitored during and after the experiment, where they will receive follow-up care and whether this follow-up care is free of charge.
It is important that you sign an informed consent form before taking part in a clinical trial. Informed consent is an ongoing process, meaning that it begins before you agree to participate in the research project and continues until after your participation has ended. The purpose of informed consent is to ensure that potential research participants understand: (1) why the research project is being conducted; (2) what procedures are involved; (3) what risks are involved; what benefits are expected or possible; (4) how their data would be used or shared with others; (5) whether there are alternatives available outside of the research project; (6) whom they can contact for more information about their rights as a participant or if something goes wrong during or after their participation in the study; (7) where they can find additional information about their rights if they wish not to participate but still want support dealing with depression.