I Googled: what percent of people have had severe depression? It is not a sin or a crime to be depressed. At some time or another, chances are that every person over the age of 18 has had at least one bout of depression. The Google inquiry provided the following information, and I copied one of the replies below.
Affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5.
More prevalent in women than in men.
I then went to the website of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) : www.nimh.nih.gov
There is a booklet that they have published called Depression: What You Need To Know. In the booklet there is basic information about depression such as its signs and symptoms.
About this booklet
This booklet, prepared by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), provides an overview on depression. NIMH is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research.
This booklet will help you learn the following four things that everyone should know about depression:
- Depression is a real illness.
- Depression affects people in different ways.
- Depression is treatable.
- If you have depression, you are not alone.
This booklet contains information on the signs and symptoms of depression, treatment and support options, and a listing of additional resources. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a guide for making medical decisions. Please review this information and discuss it with your doctor or health care provider. For more information on depression, please visit the NIMH website.
Here is the information about the booklet if you are interested in obtaining a copy for yourself, a loved one, or a friend.
Citing This Publication
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Depression (NIH Publication No. 15-3561). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Government Printing Office.
National Institute of Mental Health
Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications
Science Writing, Press, and Dissemination Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 6200, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: 301-443-4513 or 1-866-615-NIMH (6464) toll-free
TTY: 301-443-8431 or 1-866-415-8051 toll-free
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
NIH PUBLICATION NO. 15-3561
The information that I gave above was to provide you with professional advice. I am not a professional trained in anything having to do with depression of the human body. Any information that I give, except for when I say that I copied it from somewhere, is information from personal experience or from witnessing the behavior of someone going through whatever it is that they are going through. This goes for depression, having a broken bone, being in an automobile accident, having cancer. All of those are things that I have either had myself or witnessed someone close to me going through one ot more of them. What I am about to relay to you is from my own experiences from the age of nine when my six month old baby sister died with a birth defect that the doctors didn’t even know that she had until they did the autopsy after she died.
I can definitely relate to the copy of the poster, shown at the beginning of this section and being shown again now, about depression.
At the time, I had never even heard the word depression. I just knew that I missed my baby sister, and I prayed to God for Him to take me and bring back my baby sister. I thought that my Mother and Step-Father needed her more than they needed me. This was because I thought that I had killed her. Earlier in the day, after she had died, I had overheard some neighborhood women talking about babies dying. They said that they had just read about a baby that had died because the brothers and sisters had suffocated it by putting too much baby powder on the baby. I was nine years old at the time. I had two brothers and one sister at that time. We all loved our half-sister. However, we were not allowed to hold her or pick her up, or do anything other than look at her. A few days before she died, I had to sneak to even put baby powder on her, just to see her smile. She loved having baby oil or baby powder put on her. So when I heard the neighborhood ladies saying what they were saying, I thought it was my fault. All I could do was cry and pray for God to take me. I was miserable. A few months later, I tried to go to God myself. If He wouldn’t take me, I would just have to go to Him by myself and try to convince Him to take me and to send my baby sister back. Obviously I was going through a bout of major and severe depression. I wasn’t crazy, nor was I contagious to anybody. I was having a hard time dealing with the death of my baby sister, and my thinking that it was my fault. I never told anyone what I had done, until many many years later. And yes, even for a little girl, it was a daily struggle. I became very withdrawn almost immediately after hearing those ladies talking. About the only things that I would do were go to school, go to Church and come home. I didn’t even want to play.
It wasn’t until my half-brother was born about a year later that I snapped out of it. He was born with a birth defect that the doctors diagnose when he was just a few weeks old. He was in and out of the hospital a lot. He was born with a defective immune system, and had to have gamma-globulin shots every week until he was five years old. At first the doctors would tell Mamma that they didn’t even know if he could live to be six months old. They would tell her “Let’s get him to six months old first, then we’ll talk about the future and what it may hold.” My Mother couldn’t handle it very well. When he my baby brother would wake up in the middle of the night, my Mamma would come and get me up to hold him until he went back to sleep. The doctors would always tell mamma and my Step-Father to let them get my baby brother to the next six month milestone. This went on until he was five years old. By the time he was five years old, his immune system had seemingly healed itself, and the doctors told my parents that they thought that my brother would be fine, and be able to live a long healthy life.
What I am trying to show is that depression can hit anyone at any age, but it is possible to get through it. Once I had my brother to concentrate on, I forgot about being so unhappy and wanting God to take me and send my baby sister back. And I had a lot of friends helping me too. Once the family moved away from where the baby had died, we all seemed to do a whole lot better. Having the new baby helped all of us except for my Mamma. She was so scared that my baby brother was going to die also, that she was sort of scared of getting close to him. She took care of him, she just wouldn’t let herself get as attached as she should. For the longest time, my little brother thought that I was his Mommy. And I loved it. I was old enough to babysit, so I did a lot of stuff with him and his little friends in the neighborhood. I would get all of his friends and bring them to my house and have like a pre-school and teach them their alphabet and their numbers. All of the little children (all under five years old) loved it, and I looked forward to it every time I did it. All of their parents loved it. I was a free babysitter for that hour or two whenever I had them at my house.
I know I got off on a tangent, but I thought it was necessary to show that, like the poster says, depression is an illness. It isn’t contagious, just a bad day or a phase that someone is going through. The person with it isn’t crazy, and no they can’t just pull their self up by their bootstraps. By no odd chance is it their identity. It is a daily struggle, they will get through it, and other people, especially their friends need to be patient and supportive of the person with the depression. I know it from experience.
There is another way that I know it from experience, and that is from a really bad time in my life when I came down with asthma, bronchitis, and double pneumonia all at the same time while I was visiting my family back home. This was in March of 1990. I had to stay an extra two weeks, because the doctors would not let me fly before the two weeks was up. After I got back to my house, I was being rushed to the hospital, every 7 to 10 days, with asthma attacks so bad that I couldn’t breathe. On June 9, 1990, I lost both my permanent full-time job that I had had for 16 years, and my permanent part-time job that I had had for five years. I was devastated, but too weak to put up too much of a fuss. I ended up in oxygen, and had to pull oxygen tanks around with me everywhere I went, and I had to wear a medical mask whenever I left my house. I was on Prednisone and therefore had a weakened immune system. If you had a cold and I caught it, it could go into Pneumonia on me. The Pneumonia that I had was micro-plasma-pneumonia. The worst kind for damaging your lungs. It took the doctors until April of 1993 to come up with the magical combination of medications to control all of my new medical conditions. In May of 1993, I started back to school at the local community college so that I could go back to work. I was pulling oxygen tanks behind me and was wearing a mask on my face when I started back, and I had just found out the week before I started to class that I was also diabetic. But nothing was going to stop me.
In conclusion, don’t let depression get you down. It is possible to get through it. I know from experience. I got through it against all odds.