Did you know...
- The number of deaths from suicide each year is
approximately the same as the number of deaths from AIDS.
- Depression is not sadness. In depression,
we lose the ability to feel any emotion strongly. The true opposite
of depression is vitality the ability to feel a full range
of emotions, including happiness, joy, pride, but also including
sadness and grief.
- The annual cost of depression to the U.S. economy
is estimated at $44 billion. It is second only to cancer in terms
of economic impact, higher than the cost of heart disease. Yet,
there is no high-profile organization helping with research and
treatment such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer
Society, Diabetes Foundation, American Lung Association, to name
but a few.
- Almost 20 percent of Americans have depression,
most without knowing it. They just assume that they can't win, that
their relationships are always trouble and that hopelessness, insomnia,
chronic fatigue, and guilt are their lot in life.
- Research estimates that 10 percent of children
will suffer a depressive episode before age 12, although as recently
as 1980 it was thought that children did not suffer depression.
- In the past 25 years, while the general incidence
of suicide has decreased, the rate of suicide for those between
15 and 19 has quadrupled.
- Many alcoholics treat an underlying depression
with alcohol. Their depression makes sobriety doubly difficult.
Many substance abuse treatment programs now refer their patients
in recovery for treatment of depression.
- Procrastination is a hallmark of depression. The
depressive puts things off until they seem insurmountable. This
reinforces his feelings of self-blame and despair. But it also protects
him from ever risking his absolute best effort at any task.
- Women are three times as likely to become depressed
as men. No one knows for sure why this is the case. Theories suggest
that women's social role has historically been less satisfactory,
that their hormonal ebb and flow makes them more susceptible, that
they are more likely to experience trauma, and that they are simply
given social permission to express depression.
- Men are five times more likely than women to commit
suicide. Instead of permitting themselves to feel the emotional
symptoms of depression, men defend against them through dangerous,
self-destructive or antisocial behaviors, by somatization (rushing
to the ER with chest pains that turn out to be an anxiety attack),
or by trying to treat them with alcohol. Many men feel they are
faking it, making it up as they go along, always one misstep away
from disaster. They try to reassure themselves by swaggering around
the house, but they wonder if women aren't really laughing behind
their backs. Many abusers use violence to express the frustrations
and hopelessness that come from depression.
- Six million elderly suffer from some form of depression.
Their depression tends to be dismissed as inevitable, but in fact
is caused more by poor health and poor sleep than grief, loss or
isolation. Among the elderly who commit suicide, almost 75 percent
visit a doctor within a week before their deaths, but only in 25
percent of those cases did the physician recognize a depression.
- There is no organized self-help movement for depression,
despite the proliferation of groups like AA, Cancervive, Better
Breathers, Agoraphobics Together, groups for the bereaved, for the
divorced, for children of divorce, etc. This book is the first to
present a model for a Depression Self-Help Group.