How Americans Are Coping With Depression

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INTRODUCTION This report gives an overview of how Americans are coping with depression. Depression is a mental disorder that can affect men, women and children regardless of their age or economic backgrounds. Approximately 18.8 million people or 9.5% of adults ages 18 and older in the United States have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder. There are many factors that may cause depression which sometimes makes it harder for the disorder to be diagnosed. This report will examine how a major depressive disorder is defined and diagnosed through physical examinations, laboratory tests, and psychological evaluations. The effects of depression on Americans based on their age, sex, geographical locations, and economic backgrounds. Lastly, this report will discuss ways in which doctors and mental health professionals are treating Americans to help them cope with a diagnosed depressive disorder in their everyday lives. Diagnosing A Major Depressive Disorders Depression is defined as a mood disorder that interferes with how a person is able to perform day-to-day activities. “Depression is characterized by a depressed or sad mood, diminished interest in activities which used to be pleasurable, weight gain or loss, psychomotor agitation or retardation, fatigue, inappropriate guilt, difficulties concentrating, as well as recurrent thoughts of death.”(CDC, Depression) Depression, also known as a “Major Depressive Disorder”, usually affects individuals between the ages of
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