Just Sad or Depression?

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In the United States, close to 10 percent of the population struggles with depression, in Canada the statistics point out to roughly 1 in 5 Canadians battling mental illness. These stats likely fail to include more people largely due to the fact it can take a long time for someone to even understand that they are suffering.

One difficulty in diagnosis is trying to distinguish between feeling down and experiencing clinical depression.

This TED-Ed video can help people make the distinction between those feelings. Clinical depression is a condition that generally lasts longer than two weeks, with a wide range of symptoms that can include changes in appetite, poor concentration, restlessness,  changes in mood (ex. easily irritated), sleep disorders (either too much or too little), and suicidal ideation.

The video also briefly discusses the neuroscience behind the illness, outlines forms treatments (talking therapy, ECT), and offers advice on how you can help a friend or loved one who may have depression. 

Astonishing fact mentioned in the video: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it takes the average person suffering a mental illness over 10 years to ask for help. 10 YEARS!

If you know someone suffering from depression, or any mental illness for that matter, gently encourage them to explore some of the options mentioned in the video. Talking therapies and medication are good compliments of one another, particularly in cases where the mental illness is a bit more severe. In cases of minor depression, talking therapies can be effective on its own as they give good coping techniques to help with your general wellbeing.