Skip to content

    Depression Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Depression Statistics and Symptoms

    Nearly 18.8 million Americans over age 18 suffer from major depression. Unfortunately, most people never seek treatment. Left undiagnosed and untreated, depression can worsen, lasting for years and causing untold suffering, and possibly even result in suicide.

    Symptoms of depression include:

    Recommended Related to Depression

    Generic Antidepressants: What You Need to Know

    The Food and Drug Administration sees no difference between brand-name and generic medications for depression. Most psychiatrists readily prescribe generics as effective copies of the original. That said, it is not at all rare for patients who switch to a generic from a brand-name medication to experience a difference. Sometimes they feel a return of the old sadness, anxiety, and helplessness that the antidepressant helped to lift. Other times, they get an unusual jolt of the same side effects that...

    Read the Generic Antidepressants: What You Need to Know article > >

    • Sadness
    • Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
    • Loss of energy
    • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Difficulty making decisions
    • Insomnia or excessive sleep
    • Stomachache and digestive problems
    • Sexual problems (for example, decreased sex drive)
    • Aches and pains (such as recurrent headaches)
    • A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
    • Thoughts of death or suicide
    • Attempting suicide

    Depression is treatable. Treatment may include antidepressant medication, professional counseling such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, or a combination of the two. It sometimes takes several attempts to find the medication and type of counseling that work best for you. It can take one to three months for medications to take their full effect, although they often begin to show signs of working more quickly. You and your health professional will work together to find the right treatment.

    Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your doctor or a local suicide hotline immediately or 911.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 08, 2014

    Today on WebMD

    contemplation
    Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
    jk rowling
    Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
     
    depressed man sitting on hallway floor
    Learn the truth about this serious illness.
    Sad woman looking out of the window
    Tips to stay the treatment course.
     
    unhappy teen boy
    Health Check
    jk rowling
    Slideshow
     
    Pills with smiley faces
    Article
    Teen girl huddled outside house
    Article
     
    Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
    Article
    antidepressants slideshow
    Article
     
    pill bottle
    Article
    Winding path
    Article