Worldwide, individuals struggle with sadness, some on a daily basis. But depression can be something else entirely. In fact, major depressive disorders affect some 17 million adults and near 2 million children, nationwide. Additionally, more than half of those suffering from depressive disorders are also suffering from ongoing and debilitating anxiety. Sadly, Colorado has the sixth-highest rate of suicide in America and those numbers continue to climb each year. What this means for many Coloradans is a need for access to mental health care and depression treatment.
Too often, depression can be closely linked to substance dependency and addictions, or vice versa. The sad reality is that illegal drugs and prescription medication can offer some comfort for those suffering from ongoing mental health issues, even if only temporarily. As a result, many that are battling with trauma-related grief can be more easily taken by substance abuse and addictions with no end in sight.
What is Depression?
The American Psychiatric Association defines depression as a mental illness that negatively affects how you feel about yourself. Depression can cause feelings of melancholy and hopelessness. It can lead to physical and/or emotional conditions. Depressed people often lose interest in work, family, friends, and activities they once loved.
Roughly seven percent of adults in the United States suffer from depression making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the country. In Colorado, nearly 24% of teens and 19% of adults have said they experienced at least one depressive episode in the last year. What makes these statistics more alarming is the studies indicating that, although this is one of the most widely recognized mental health issues, still 34% of Coloradans said they did not have access to the care they needed.