What you should know about depression

Depression is more prevalent in women than in men, research shows. According to the Mayo Clinic, women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men.

There’s a lot of information online about depression, which can make it difficult to get the facts. Your doctor can help you understand more about depression, but these four facts are a good primer:

1. There are several different types of depression.

Major depressive disorder impacts an individual’s ability to do everyday tasks like work, sleep, eat, study or partake in and enjoy hobbies, according to the Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dysthymia, or dysthymic disorder, last for two years or longer and has less severe symptoms than major depression. However, it can still impact how you live your life or lead you to feel unwell. Other forms of depression include psychotic depression, postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder.

2. Depression has a lot of causes. 

There is no cookie cutter cause for depression. Genetics, chemical imbalance, hormonal factors, stress and serious medical illness can raise a woman’s risk for depression, says the Office on Women’s Health.

3. Hotlines are available to help you if you’re thinking of hurting or killing yourself.

Depression can causes suicidal thoughts or lead individual’s to self-harm. If this is your case, seek out help by calling 911, 800-273-TALK or 800-SUICIDE, or reach out to your local suicide crisis center.

4. Treatments help most people with depression get better.

Your doctor can diagnose and help treat depression. Depression is typically treated with talk therapy, medication or a combination of the two.