An individual with this type of depression feels a profound and
constant sense of hopelessness and despair.
depression is manifested by a combination
of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study,
sleep, eat and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a
disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more
commonly occurs several times in a lifetime.
Who Experiences Major Depression?
In the U.S., approximately 10% of people suffer
from major depression at any one time and 20%-25% suffer an
episode of major depression at some point during their
lifetimes. Most people associate depression with adults, but it
also occurs in children and the elderly -- two populations in
which it often goes undiagnosed and untreated.
Approximately twice as many women as men suffer
from major depression. This is partially because of hormonal
changes throughout a woman's life: During menstruation,
pregnancy, miscarriage and menopause. Other contributing factors
include increased responsibilities in both professional and home
lives -- balancing work while taking care of a household,
raising a child alone, or even caring for an aging parent.
However, depression in men may also be under-reported.