Everyday Wellness: Debunking depression myths
Clinical depression is more common than you may think. It's estimated that one in six American adults will suffer from depression during his or her lifetime.
Depression isn't the same as sadness. Clinical depression is an ongoing medical condition striking more than 18 million Americans. It significantly limits a person's ability to experience pleasure. Just as someone with diabetes can't "shake off" the disease, someone with clinical depression cannot "snap out of it."
Sad events don't cause depression. Though the death of a loved one or a job loss can be a trigger, people with clinical depression have a measurable imbalance in brain chemistry. This imbalance increases feelings of despair and can change sleep patterns, energy level and appetite.
Although women are more likely to have clinical depression, men are not immune. Depressed men are more likely to self-treat.
Depression rarely goes away on its own. Without treatment, symptoms can continue for years and affect work performance, relationships and physical health. With proper treatment, 80 percent of sufferers feel better within 4-6 weeks.
If you think you may have clinical depression, contact your mental health professional.
Sources: The Brain and Behavior Research Fund; International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression
How Purdue can help
WorkLife Programs Employee Assistance offers confidential and professional on-site counseling and referral services to benefits-eligible employees.
Employee Assistance counselors are available to help employees address a wide range of issues, whether they relate to an employee's personal life, family or job.
The WorkLife Programs Employee Assistance office is located at the State Street Office Facility (SSOF), 1601 W. State St. Office hours are 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information or to make an appointment, call 49-47707.
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