Nearly one in 10 U.S. adults has depression, and the rate is almost twice as high for women as men, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Depression can be especially common for people coping with chronic illness, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease or Parkinson’s disease. Your physical condition may worsen when depression is present. Sometimes, medications taken for these physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression.
Your doctor may ask you about depression during your annual physical exam using a simple questionnaire.
If you have one or more of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor.
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems without a clear physical cause
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. And not everyone suffering from depression is affected in the same way. But all forms of depression can be treated, usually with a combination of talk therapy and medicine.