Depression Affecting a Growing Number of Americans

It’s normal to occasionally become melancholy or to feel “down.” But when feelings of sadness or “emptiness” persist, there is a good chance deeper issues exist.

Depression in its various forms affects roughly one in 10 Americans, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics. The number of people suffering from this sometimes debilitating mental health condition has been on a steady incline in recent years.

Why the Increase?

There are many factors that can be linked to the increase of depression cases in the U.S. These include financial struggles resulting from the recent economic downturn; the burdens on homeowners and their families due to the housing crisis; and the difficulty for many to find work in an extremely tight job market.

Depression Treatment Increasingly Effective

Depression can range from mild to severe. But the good news is that treatment has become more refined and has proven to be successful at every level. After thorough diagnosis, a treatment plan is tailored toward the individual and usually includes a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medications.

For milder forms of depression, counseling may be all that is required to get a patient back on their feet. But severe depression may take extensive therapy and a combination of medications to effectively treat. There are also other treatment options for severe depression, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or “TMS therapy,” which stimulates areas within the brain responsible for regulating moods.

As mental health professionals become more experienced in caring for those with depression, treatment methods continue to evolve. As a result, despite the troubling statistics, the light shines ever brighter at the end of the tunnel for depression sufferers.