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Depression on the rise
By leap2livemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 08:35 AM
Moved to Debates by hummingbird (128773) on 2011-01-30 19:29:41 This really is a debate

MODS, I wasn't sure where to place this. I'm not sure if this is a debate, I think it's more of a discussion, but feel free to move it to whatever board it needs to be!

Several studies have shown that clinical depression is on the rise. Here are a few statistics I've found:

Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. This includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.
NIMH. “The Numbers Count: Mental Illness in America,” Science on Our Minds Fact Sheet Series.

The rate of increase of depression among children is an astounding 23% p.a
Harvard University study reported in Harvard Mental Health Newsletter, February 2002.

15% of the population of most developed countries suffers severe depression.
World Health Organization (WHO) report quoted in BBC-Online January 9, 2001.

By the year 2020, depression will be the 2nd most common health problem in the world.
Depression Out of The Shadows, PBS

So here's my question. WHY is depression on the rise? WHY does it affect so many people now than in the past?

Do you believe that depression has always affected so many people, but more people are coming forward and receiving treatment?

Do you believe that certain factors such as war, recession and other tragedies is 'causing' depression?

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clincally depressed?

I want to hear your opinions and where you stand.

48 Replies to Depression on the rise

re: Depression on the rise (karma: 4)
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 09:07 AM
leap2live wrote:

So here's my question. WHY is depression on the rise? WHY does it affect so many people now than in the past?

Do you believe that depression has always affected so many people, but more people are coming forward and receiving treatment?

Do you believe that certain factors such as war, recession and other tragedies is 'causing' depression?

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clincally depressed?


I would like to preface this with...I am aware that depression is a serious mental illness. It has affected members of my family. But with that said...I think the term is thrown around to softly. You may not like my answers, but it's my view of the situation and you're welcome to have your own.

Yes. More people want a diagnosis to receive medication instead of developing more effective coping mechanisms.

Yes. But again, I feel that people do not have the coping mechanisms that they used to. "Suck it up" used to be the method and while I don't think this is the best way to deal with things, maybe a little more of that attitude would help a lot of people. Again, not to the extreme, but just a little.

Yes. As soon as someone feels "blue" for a week they run to a psychologist to be diagnosed with depression.

I see the development of this in the students I teach. They're never made to deal with disappointment. Everyone is a winner now. In sports, everyone gets a trophy. In dance, everyone gets a platinum. But in life, not everyone gets a trophy, but kids growing up in this "winning" environment don't know how to lose or how to deal when tough times hit. I go through rough patches, and I'm sure if I went to a psychologist, I could get diagnosed with depression, albeit no chronic depression, and receive some happy pills. But I'm able to assess my situation and realize that I'm just going through an unlucky period. I can look around me and see people who struggle more and I come out of it eventually. I'm from the school of "suck it up." Yes, you can take that too far, but some people act as though it's the worst possible thing you can do.

Again, this is just my opinion. If you don't agree, I welcome you to post your own opinion, but don't flame mine just because you don't agree.
re: Depression on the rise
By maureensiobhan
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 09:24 AM
Edited by maureensiobhan (80481) on 2011-01-30 09:28:17 added some necessary punctuation
Do you think depression has always affected so many people, but more people are coming forward and receiving treatment?


I think that depression has always affected many people. I think we hear so much more of it nowadays because more people are coming forward and receiving treatment.

Do you believe that certain factors such as war, recession, and other tragedies is "causing" depression?


I don't think that war, recession, and other tragedies are "causing" depression. However, I do think that those things may be exacerbating mental illness that may already have been there to begin with.

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clinically depressed?


Yes, I think that there are people who are too quick to label their feelings as depression, but who are really feeling just a case of the blues. It's normal to occasionally feel the blues. It's unrealistic to expect to be feeling happy and upbeat all the time. However, it is of course time to seek professional help if the blues become deeper and more prolonged. Only a trained psychiatrist can help diagnose the difference between a case of the blues and severe clinical depression, and can prescribe the appropriate anti-depressants if the patient has true clinical depression.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 1)
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:50 PM
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-01-30 12:52:20
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-01-30 12:53:54
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-01-30 12:54:37
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-01-30 12:58:23
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-01-30 13:05:46
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-01-30 13:11:03
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-01-30 13:14:49
Answering a few questions as someone diagnosed and trying to cope with severe clinical depression...

So here's my question. WHY is depression on the rise? WHY does it affect so many people now than in the past?


No I don't think it's really on the rise just diagnosed more easily and there are more people seeking the help. Diagnoses have increased a great deal with invention of new medicine. When Prozac was discovered there was a huge increase in diagnosing depression. I personally think this has more to do with doctors prefering to diagnose things they can treat, rather then things they cannot.

Do you believe that certain factors such as war, recession and other tragedies is 'causing' depression?


It's not quite as simple as that. Severe traumas can cause post traumatic stress disorder, where depression is one of the common symptoms, but it's not the same thing as depression. Most likely depression is caused by a complex mixture of psychological, enviromental and very probably genetic factors. There are also physical causes/illnesses that can sometimes cause depression (such as a malfunctioning thyroid), but doctor try to rule these out in diagnosing depression.

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clincally depressed?


Well for me seeking help, admitting that I am and being labeled as a mental health patient was a very painful process. I've been suicidal most of my life, I tried to "suck it up" in horrible misery for years. I was recently told by my psychiatrist that if people with clinical depression could, she would be out of a job, and that is the worst possioble thing to say to someone who is depressed. Recovery is a long and rocky road... Most deprsession medicine have plenty of side effects, at times I've been completely bedridden by them through the trial and error process of different medication. They aren't "happy pills", they just able your body to fuction more normally as in eat and sleep and get out of bed, when depression makes all that impossible. Beyond that they aren't an easy solution to anything. Opening up to someone in therapy isn't exactly a walk in the park either. That's the difficult solution of facing and dragging into the light all the stuff, you really didn't want to. I find it hard to imagine anyone would want to go throught all that, for some minor problem. For most people it's real plenty horrible mental pain...and it's a hope of being even a little better that makes you endure quite a lot.

But no I don't think the line between the blues and clinical depression is as some would like us to believe. I don't think any degree can make you totally objectively see someones whole mind. Many depressed people have actually had hard lives. The human mind is horribly complex thing and I personally think we are still often walking in the dark in both trying to help and trying to understand mental suffering and be helped.
re: Depression on the rise
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 01:15 PM
Elfie wrote:

Answering a few questions as someone diagnosed and trying to cope with severe clinical depression...

So here's my question. WHY is depression on the rise? WHY does it affect so many people now than in the past?


No I don't think it's really on the rise just diagnosed more easily and there are more people seeking the help. Diagnoses have increased a great deal with invention of new medicine. When Prozac was discovered there was a huge increase in diagnosing depression. I personally think this has more to do with doctors prefering to diagnose things they can treat, rather then things they cannot.

Do you believe that certain factors such as war, recession and other tragedies is 'causing' depression?


It's not quite as simple as that. Severe traumas can cause post traumatic stress disorder, where depression is one of the common symptoms, but it's not the same thing as depression. Most likely depression is caused by a complex mixture of psychological, enviromental and very probably genetic factors. There are also physical causes/illnesses that can sometimes cause depression (such as a malfunctioning thyroid), but doctor try to rule these out in diagnosing depression.

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clincally depressed?


Well for me seeking help, admitting that I am and being labeled as a mental health patient was a very painful process. I've been suicidal most of my life, I tried to "suck it up" in horrible misery for years. I was recently told by my psychiatrist that if people with clinical depression could, she would be out of a job, and that is the worst possioble thing to say to someone who is depressed. Recovery is a long and rocky road... Most deprsession medicine have plenty of side effects, at times I've been completely bedridden by them through the trial and error process of different medication. They aren't "happy pills", they just able your body to fuction more normally as in eat and sleep and get out of bed, when depression makes all that impossible. Beyond that they aren't an easy solution to anything. Opening up to someone in therapy isn't exactly a walk in the park either. I find it hard to imagine anyone would want to go throught all that, for some minor problem. For most people it's real plenty horrible mental pain...and it's a hope of being even a little better that makes you endure quite a lot.

But no I don't think the line between the blues and clinical depression is as some would like us to believe. I don't think any degree can make you totally objectively see someones whole mind. Many depressed people have actually had hard lives. The human mind is horribly complex thing and I personally think we are still often walking in the dark in both trying to help and trying to understand mental suffering and be helped.


And that's what I was trying to say about depression vs chronic depression. I think too many people mistake the blues for depression. There are people who honestly do need the medication, but there are so many more who are taking the meds who may not actually need them or could find another source of relief.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 2)
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 01:30 PM
Pain is subjective. Mental pain even more so. So who are we to judge someone elses depression as fake or real? Why uphold the myth of your depression isn't good enough, when there are many needing the help and not getting it? No one can really know but the person herself, what feelings are real to him/her.

All I'm saying going to the doctor for an "easy fix" is unlikely to find any. There aren't easy solutions to a mental health problem...
re: Depression on the rise
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 01:32 PM
WHY is depression on the rise? WHY does it affect so many people now than in the past?

I don't think that it is on the rise - I think that diagnosis of depression is on the rise and that sometimes its an easy diagnosis for doctors to make

Do you believe that depression has always affected so many people, but more people are coming forward and receiving treatment? Yes in one simple word

Do you believe that certain factors such as war, recession and other tragedies is 'causing' depression? Yes, but then these problems have affected many different parts of our recent history.

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clincally depressed? Yes. Its an easy cop out - especially for the welfare system in the UK. My aunt says she is depressed so she doesn't work. In reality if she wasn't 'depressed' she wouldn't get her rent, council tax etc etc paid for. If she is so depressed its funny how she isn't on medication, doesn't recieve treatment and is out and about all the time living the life of larry. (Yes some bitterness there)
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 3)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 02:36 PM
Depression is not on the rise, it is just being diagnosed more often due to decreased stigma and depressives' increased willingness to seek help.

For a fine display of stigma, please view this thread. Thanks, comrades. Go team!

*headdesk*
re: Depression on the rise
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 02:52 PM
I don't think anyone is denying that depression can be debilitating. We're just saying that it's often over-diagnosed. No, we can't say who is real or who is "faking it,' and I'm not pointing fingers. I'm just saying it happens.
re: Depression on the rise
By Wicked_Elphabamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 03:06 PM
I see the development of this in the students I teach. They're never made to deal with disappointment. Everyone is a winner now. In sports, everyone gets a trophy. In dance, everyone gets a platinum.


I hate this mentality. Thankfully, I was raised in the time where you couldn't win every time. You win sometimes, you lose sometimes. Not everyone gets to be Juliet or Odette. Not everyone gets into Harvard. Disappointment is part of life.

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clincally depressed?


Yes. I also blame TV. You see the drug commercials for all the medicines and someone has 1-2 of the symptoms occasionally and ZOMG they must have depression!!!!! Uh, no.
re: Depression on the rise
By leap2livemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 05:00 PM
Just for clarification, I'm not saying or implying that depression is not real or something you can suck up. In fact, I have diagnosed clinical depression, and have for more than half my life. It is debilitating, and I WISH that it was something that I could just snap out of.

This thread came about because I was doing some research on depression because I've been really struggling the past few weeks. I came about several pages with statistics and certain theories about why depression has become so prevalent. So I wanted to hear your opinions, I'm not naive about depression...I promise :)
re: Depression on the rise
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 05:23 PM
Yet you're immediately placing the serious, potentially fatal, and already heavily stigmatized diagnosis of 18.8 million Americans as suspect merely on the flimsy rationale that "people don't seem as tough as they used to."

Pretty much BS, when suicide is one of the top ten causes of death in the United States and one of the the top three killers of adolescents.

You know the rate of something else that's rising? Cancer. The incidence rate is always rising, even among young adults, and people are forever freaking out about breast cancer.

Actually, an excellent parallel can be drawn between rising rates of depression and breast cancer, because breast cancer is something that ladies love to unnecessarily freak out about.

When they are asked to identify the greatest threat to their health, most American women name breast cancer. Most of them are wrong. Women overestimate their risk of getting breast cancer, researchers say, and they also overestimate the odds that the disease will be fatal. Few feel anywhere near the same dread of heart disease, even though it kills far more women, and few realize that lung cancer surpassed breast cancer 10 years ago as the leading cause of death from cancer in women.


[D]octors worry that, over all, excessive fear of breast cancer may lead women to neglect the other conditions that are much more likely to kill them: to be cavalier about smoking or lack of exercise, for instance, or to refuse estrogen replacement therapy after menopause. New York Times



In fact, people will opt to have completely unnecessarily procedures done - such as double mastectomies. They really need to find a better way of coping with their fear.


I've honestly never spoken to someone I thought was "faking" depression. When I tell my story to people, I'm surprised by how many will take my hand and say, "I know exactly how you feel!" What they'll in turn describe is nothing akin to "the blues." It doesn't at all matter what their circumstances in life are - I haven't had anything devastating happen to me, but a mental disorder is a medical disorder and doesn't come from environmental influences (though they can trigger it).

I think that more recognition of the pain 10+% of the population can only be a good thing. Or, if nothing else, a sign that a rising amount of the population is in terrible pain is certainly a sign that something is wrong - and that "toughening up" is a long-held and clearly ineffective solution.
re: Depression on the rise
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 05:44 PM
I agree with you on the cancer thing too. I was actually thinking about it too. People say the rates are on the rise, and I also think it's something that is diagnosed more.

As much as you think I'm using "flimsy rationale" you're also generalizing everything I said. I didn't say that about all cases. I just know there are some cases. I clearly never even hinted that you were faking it.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 2)
By imadancer2member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 09:06 PM
I'm afraid of getting my head chopped off saying this but...

While the positive decreased stigma has most likely caused an increase in diagnosis of depression, I also think that this decreased stigma helps people who are simply "down" think that they're clinically depressed. I don't even know how many stories I've heard of people who go to the doctor (kind of along the lines of what CarabosseK mentioned) and are simply handed medication instead of getting pointed towards therapy or other help to develop more effective coping-mechanisms, etc.

Answering one of the OPs original question, I do think that people are too quick to label themselves with depression. For years, I've had SO many friends around me talking about how they're *so* "depressed." Honestly, a majority of my friends are nowhere near depressed. They have feelings of depression, but by no means are they clinically depressed. Just because you fail your math test doesn't mean you need to go get some prozac is what I'm saying.

I do think that the decreased stigma surrounding mental-illness is a very positive thing, with people who need help feeling more able to get the help they need. But I also feel like that gives people a little too much permission to think that because they're struggling in their life they are clinically depressed.
That being said, you can definitely feel depressed from situations like a loss or life stressors like loosing a job. I know these are still debilitating events that can cause extreme emotional distress. The main difference here is I feel that these are situations to how to cope with/accept/etc. I personally have wished that my "depression" (and I say that in quotes because I'm not sure I really think I'm depressed) was caused by a life event. I wish I had reason to feel this way, that's for sure, and I wish I had something to blame and to be able to work on "getting over" so to say.
I know I've spoken to tons of people who will relate to what i'm feeling because they broke up with their boyfriend last week. Okay...I understand that's depressing but I don't think that means you have clinical depression.
Umm...I think that's it. I have a LOT to say about this, but I'm really scared of being shunned so... *backs away slowly*
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 2)
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 09:18 PM
I understand that's depressing but I don't think that means you have clinical depression.


I think that sums up my feelings on this subject the best.


Additionally, in general, (not JUST regarding depression, so don't jump all over me), I think society as a whole is disgustingly overmedicated. If you have tried counseling, therapy, etc. and it hasn't worked for you, ok great, medicate. But this whole instant prescription thing is out of control.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 1)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:05 PM
I have observed an increase in a kind of you're-not-really-allowed-to-be-truly-happy thinking. It's been a long time since I have spoken with anyone who is very happy. Could it be because:

>Expectations in life are so high that disappointment is frequent - how can you be truly happy when everything falls short?

>There is always a tragedy going on in the world somewhere and the news is sure to let you know about it - how can you be truly happy with so much suffering going on?

>A notion that happiness is not as intelligent as a more sober state of mind - how can you be truly happy when there is so much deep thinking to be done?

>Being bummed together is seen as a type of bonding experience - if you are truly happy then no one can relate to you.

>The idea that happiness means that you aren't really in touch with your feelings - if you were you wouldn't be so dang happy.

>To be cynical is seen as cool - it's hard to be happy and edgy/cool/dark at the same time.

So I think that these examples are ways that our culture teaches us out of happiness. You have a lot of basically unhappy people as a result. They don't feel quite right and aren't sure why and then they are bombarded with information about depression and they don't know that it is something entirely different from what they are experiencing.

These are just my own observations. As a happy and satisfied person, I come across suspicion about my mental state ALL THE TIME. Actually, all of my life people have accused me of not really being in touch with my feelings because I can't really be this happy.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 1)
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 31, 2011 02:41 AM
I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I'm just being bratty and whiny and playing the martyr and looking for attension, when there is actually nothing wrong with me. While the doctors and psychologist are doing their best trying to convince me I do have an actual illness. (Severe clinical depression and in my case also complex PTSD) That even though mental health problems may not feel tangible in the way normal health problems do it has caused actual physical alterations in my brain and nervous system in a way that they no longer function the way a normal brain and a nervous system does.

I wonder how well AA would work if you get there and say my name is this and I'm an alcoholic and the audience answered back no you are not...(Either that or you get treated like a child and the answer to every valid concern of yours becomes "have you taken your madication today, should you take more of those anti-anxiety pills.) In this age where everything has to be measured and labeled when it comes to the realm of subjective such as feelings, we get constantly bombarded with the message that what ever it is that you feel (both happiness, like D4j said, and suffering) isn't good enough or real enough (Us . Sadly the only real understanding I've ever encountered has come from professionals or people who have/have had some kind of mental health problem themselves. (Us nuts must stick together, secret hand shake.)

And no depression isn't the same thing as just feeling sad at all. When I've been my most depressed (as in unable to function) I've actually felt rather numb. It feels like you are dead already. And no even if you go to the doctor saying I've just been blue for awhile it doesn't mean you will be diagnosed with depression and sent away with a bottle of pills. The diagnostic criteria is:Depression comes in many forms and in many degrees. Below, you will find some of the most common depressive types, along with some of the diagnostic criteria from the DSM-III-R (the official diagnostic and statistical manual for psychiatric illnesses).

**Major Depression:** This is a most serious type of depression. Many people with a major depression can not continue to function normally. The treatments for this are medication, psychotherapy and, in extreme cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Diagnostic criteria:

A. At least five of the following symptoms have been present during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood, or (2) loss of interest or pleasure. (Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a physical condition, mood- incongruent delusions or hallucinations, incoherence, or marked loosening of associations.)

1. depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated either by subjective account or observation by others

2. markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated either by subjective account or observation by others of apathy most of the time)

3. significant weight loss or weight gain when not dieting (e.g. more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day

4. insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

5. psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)

6. fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

7. feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self- reproach or guilt about being sick)

8. diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

9. recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

B. (1) It cannot be established that an organic factor initiated and maintained the disturbance (2) The disturbance is not a normal reaction to the death of a loved one

C. At no time during the disturbance have there been delusions or hallucinations for as long as two weeks in the absence of prominent mood symptoms (i.e..- before the mood symptoms developed or after they have remitted).

D. Not superimposed on Schizophrenia, Schizophreniform Disorder, Delusional Disorder, or Psychotic Disorder


When I've been at my worst I've been unable to swallow anything solid. I will just physically gag and it won't go down. And for example when I get past a certain pont I can't read or watch TV even if I really want to. The letters and images can just become a messy blur that doesn't mean anything. Are some people using the word depression incorrectly to mean just sad, sure. Are majority of them in therapy, on drugs, or having ETC treatments- I bet not.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 4)
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 31, 2011 04:13 AM
Have you people ever noticed how much these mental health debates sound like teenagers arguing who is the truer goth then the other? (Add some self-irony there...)

De-stigmatised my ass! Stigma just used to come more with the label "stark raving mad" and now it comes more with the label "there is really nothing wrong with you, you are just looking for attension".
re: Depression on the rise
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 31, 2011 09:08 AM
I think it is all the commercials on tv for depression meds. You can't get away from them in America! The one that has the tagline, "Depression Hurts" is especially bothersome to me. It shows sad-looking people looking out the window. Then you take their drug and there a smile again. No wonder people think that depression = sadness and that drugs = happiness. It's very misleading. So combine this advertisement bombardment with being socially conditioned to not be very happy and you get a lot of people questioning their mental state unnecessarily. I know people both here on ddn and irl who have serious depression and I wouldn't describe them as simply 'sad'. In fact, sadness isn't even a word I would use at all.
re: Depression on the rise
By Anon1234567890member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:17 AM
^ Doesn't happen in Britain - pharmaceutical companies cannot advertise their wares on TV. And yet (based on nothing) I'd say if depression is on the rise in the US then it'll be on the rise here too, so I doubt advertising is a major factor.
re: Depression on the rise
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:48 AM
So here's my question. WHY is depression on the rise? WHY does it affect so many people now than in the past?


Because those assigned to handle depression have no workable tech to handle it and might even be generating it. Statistics compiled without bias do not lie, and those compiling these statistics certainly did not want to reach this conclusion.

Do you believe that depression has always affected so many people, but more people are coming forward and receiving treatment?


No. Newspapers print whatever sells, particularly on the front page, or they go bankrupt, so compare today's front pages with those of (say) 1876. By and large, today's front pages cover violent crimes, political hype, and the public relations statements of prominent executives, while those from the remote past cover arts, major accomplishments, and often the highest efforts of humanity.

If that isn't sufficiently convincing, compare suicide rates now versus then - particularly among the young. Suicide rates fully cover both those who have come forward for "help" and those who have not.

Do you believe that certain factors such as war, recession and other tragedies is 'causing' depression?


This is a factor - but one that can be measured by more careful statistics - to compare those most affected by such circumstances to those least affected and to compare the times when such stresses would be greater with the times when such stresses would be lesser.

Do you believe that people are too quick to label their feelings as depression, when in reality they may not be clincally [sic] depressed?

This depends entirely on who is influential in the subject's life.
re: Depression on the rise
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Feb 05, 2011 03:38 AM
I doubt that the number of people taking antidepressants "in vain" is even the third of the number of people that have obvious serious mental health problems, but instead of admitting that even to themselves choose rather to self-medicate with alcohol and illegal drugs doing so much more damage to their bodies. If you ask me those are the people taking the "easy way out", not the ones who go to the doctor.
re: Depression on the rise
By RileyA
On Sun Feb 06, 2011 04:19 AM
Depression is a chemical problem in the brain. In the normal brain people feel down and out from time to time but the brain will then produce certain chemicals which normalize the brain. In people with clinical depression this chemical is not being produced correctly.

Depression is triggered by real life difficult events but not caused by it. If a person without depression goes through tough times they will come through as their brain produces the necessary chemical, if a person with depression goes through a tough time they are unable to get themselves out of the down moods.

Depression is on the rise due to our current lifestyle. It is well proven that many chemicals in food actually severely affect the brains ability to produce mood normalizing chemicals. Foods that contain preservatives, additives, colors and flavors are the worst. Many years ago these foods were eaten rarely or never, today they are eaten so frequently (Often many times a day) that it can leave a person in a permanent state of depression.

Increase in screen time has also increased depression. People spend the majority of their free time watching TV, on the computer or other screen related devices. Spending so much time doing these activities reduces the amount of time spent doing other activities such as interacting with others and exercising. Research shows that both interacting with others and exercising increase the chemical production in the brain that prevents depression.

More people are coming forward for treatment, but this is not a bad thing. In the old days it was considered an embarrassment to yourself and your family to have a "mental disorder" it would have been shameful to admit. These days people are more comfortable and it ensures that the people who need it get the right treatment.

Wars, recessions and tragedies do not increase depression. These things are happening no more often now than they ever have in the past. In fact in most cases less so. Difficult circumstances don't cause depression. People without depression can come through these events fine. People with depression lack the chemicals needed to come through these events.

I don't think people are too quick to label themselves as depressed. Instead I think the word "depression" has taken on a double meaning. Depression is now also a mood. When someone feels down they will say "I am depressed" but they mean a temporary form of depression and they have no inclination to visit a doctor or be prescribed medication. Clinical depression is a separate thing.
re: Depression on the rise
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Feb 06, 2011 06:27 AM
Not necessary quite so simple^
www.medicalnewstoday.com . . .

Even my psychology professor said we have no idea of knowing if the chemical imbalance is a cause or just another symptom of depression.
re: Depression on the rise
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Sun Feb 06, 2011 07:07 AM
I will buy the idea that the chemicals in food can be causing this, but when you go to a doctor to be diagnosed, is the first course of treatment a change in diet?
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