The CDC released statistics today showing that 80% of Americans aged 12 and over have Depression. The rates of depression are higher in women and baby boomers as well as African-Americans.
As a primary health care practitioner, these numbers don’t surprise me. This is something that I see absolutely every day in my practice. And just like the statistics, it is often women who are 40 and over.
While many women do come in to discuss their depression, there is still a significant amount of people that do not seek assistance from their providers. There is still a stigma, even in 2008, but depression means you’re mentally ill. While I had assumed that that myth was put to rest years ago, the study shows that it hasn’t.
Depression isn’t something that you can just pull yourself out of, it isn’t a character flaw, and it doesn’t mean that you’re crazy. It is a biochemical disorder affecting the brain’s neurotransmitters as far as we know it today. It affects almost every aspect of health and well being.
There are many Depression rating scale’s available online – postpartum depression scales, geriatric depression scales, the Hamilton Rating Scale, the Zung Self Rating Depression Scale and others. One can easily search for these scales by entering “depression scale” into your favorite search engine.
Depression is treatable; you just have to see your provider.