Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Talking About Depression

There has been a lot of talk about depression in the media since the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams last week. Several reports note that Williams suffered from depression before he took his own life. But what exactly is depression, and who gets it?

The National Library of Medicine notes that "depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a longer period of time." Go here for a easy-to-read printable pamphlet from the National Library of Medicine that explains the basics of depression.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 10 percent of American adults report experiencing depression; major depression especially affects those between the ages of 45 and 64, women, people with less than a high school education, blacks, Hispanics, those of mixed race, the unemployed, people who used to be married but no longer are, and those without access to health insurance coverage.

There is a lot of good information online about depression, including this page from the American Psychiatric Association, which features videos of people describing their personal experiences with depression. If you think that you may be experiencing depression, check out this page from the Centers for Disease Control, which offers ways to discuss depression with your doctor.

While there are several possible causes of depression (everything from stress to hormones to life changes and a multitude of other things), it's important to note that depression often accompanies other illnesses. For information on depression and its relationship to other specific conditions, visit this link list from the National Library of Medicine. In this list, you'll find everything from dementia to HIV/AIDS to chronic pain.

For more depression information, check out the links below:
As always, the St. Louis Public Library has several books that focus on depression. Check the Dewey Decimal call number 616.8527 in the non-fiction section of your branch, or take a peek at the titles listed below:
  • Depression Sourcebook, edited by Amy L. Sutton
  • Breaking Free From Depression: Pathways to Wellness by Jesse H. Wright and Laura W. McCray
  • Depression and Bipolar Disorder: Your Guide to Recovery by William R. Marchand
  • Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions: Self-Management of Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Depression, Asthma, Bronchitis, Emphysema and Other Physical and Mental Health Conditions by Kate Lorig
  • The Feel Good Factor by Patrick Holford
  • First Steps Out of Depression by Sue Atkinson
  • Dealing with Depression: Understanding and Overcoming the Symptoms of Depression by Caroline Shreeve
  • The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Depressed & What You Can Do to Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg
  • Climbing out of Depression: A Practical Guide to Real and Immediate Help by Sue Atkinson
  • The Depression Answer Book: Professional Answers to More Than 275 Critical Questions About Medication, Therapy, Support & More by Wes Burgess

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