Back in November of last year, I wrote a post about depression and asked readers to participate in a short survey. You turned out by the thousands, helping raise awareness, dispel myths, and change perceptions. It turns out that when it comes to depression, the more you know the better.
In today’s follow-up, I’ll be sharing some of the results of that survey as well as additional resources both for my fellow veterans and civilians. Because I have the unique perspective of someone who served during a time of war, was a military spouse, and is now a Marine mom, Med-IQ* reached out to me for help in spreading the word about how to recognize the symptoms of depression – or major depressive disorder.
Let’s start with a snapshot of the people who completed the survey last year;
87% of respondents were between the ages of 25 and 45
71% reported having a bachelor’s degree or higher
Almost 67% completed the survey because they think they might have depression
Knowing the symptoms of depression can go a long way towards prompting us to seek treatment. Some of the most common symptoms reported in the survey were:
Loss of energy and irritability, reported by over 80% of participants
Difficulty thinking or making decisions and feelings of hopelessness, reported by over 70% of participants
For me, the most telling and encouraging data point was that 98% agreed with the statement that depression is caused by a combination of factors including genetics and life circumstances. This points to a greater understanding of depression, in my book.
Depression is far more common than you may think. Depression affects about 1 in 15 adults each year, and 1 out of every 6 people experience depression at some point in their life. Knowing that you’re not alone is so important. On active duty, we learn to rely on each other. Knowing that your six is covered can save your life. This holds just as true when it comes to depression.
Being honest and open with your doctor about your symptoms, your experiences, and family history is critical in determining the best treatment plan for you. Seeking care does not mean you are weak. If you had cancer, you wouldn’t just live with it, right? Depression and major depressive disorder are illnesses just like cancer.
If you took the first survey — thank you! I encourage you to also take the second survey as it is slightly different from the first one. For those of you who missed the first, please jump in now. It takes less than 10 minutes and is 100% confidential. They don’t even record your ISP address. Plus, you can choose to be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. No personal information will be kept, sold, or stored from the completion of the survey.
Should you or someone you care about be experiencing symptoms of depression, here are some resources you can turn to.**
Depression and Trauma in Veterans – click here
Depression and Bipolar Disorder Alliance – they feature a registry of support groups – click here
Veterans Resources – click here
* I was compensated by Med-IQ through a grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Lundbeck to write about depression awareness. All my opinions are my own.
** These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they are not intended and should not be construed as legal or medical advice nor are they endorsements of any healthcare provider or practice. Med-IQ bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.