ABOUT DEPRESSION: Depression affects about 19 million people in the USA every year. Depression is a medical condition that can affect a person’s ability to work, study, interact with people, or take care of themselves. Studies show that depression increases dramatically between the ages 12 and 16. The highest lifetime risk of depression was found among baby boomers aged 45 to 64. Researchers say this is a shift from younger adults who were most at risk for depression according to surveys from the 1980s and 1990s. Researchers found about 60% of people with depression received treatment specifically for the disorder. Among racial and ethnic groups, Native Americans had the highest prevalence of depression in their lifetime followed by whites, Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and Pacific Islanders. (SOURCE: www.afsp.org, ulifeline.org, www.nih.gov)
CAUSES OF UNHAPPINESS: Depression can be caused from many things and can vary from person to person. Some common causes of depression include: abuse, medications, deaths, genetics, major events in one’s life, serious illness, mental disorders, and substance abuse. Another reason one may feel depressed may have to do with where they live. In a recent real estate study the top ten unhappiest cities to live in were Portland, Saint Louis, New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Nashville-Davidson, Cincinnati, and Atlanta.
(SOURCE: realestate.msn.com, www.webmd.com)
HOW YOU CAN BE HAPPY: It is important to realize that depression is transient, be careful with the label “I have depression.” Ways to help get happy are by having a healthy diet, going outside on a sunny day, exercising, participating in psychotherapy sessions, massages, meditation, and supplements such as St. John's Wart which help raise serotonin levels and enhance mood. It also helps to spend time with positive people, reflect on past success, and understand the emotional cycle. (SOURCE: depressiontreatmenthelp.org, thedailymind.com).
GALLUP-HEALTHWAYS POLL RESULTS: On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, then they feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18. In measuring immediate well-being, yesterday’s emotional state, the researchers found that stress declines from age 22 onward, reaching its lowest point at 85. Worry stays fairly steady until 50, and then sharply drops off. Anger decreases steadily from 18 on, and sadness rises to a peak at 50, declines to 73, then rises slightly again to 85. Enjoyment and happiness have similar curves, they both decrease gradually until we hit 50, rise steadily for the next 25 years, and then decline very slightly at the end, but they never again reach the low point of our early 50’s. (Source: The New York Times)