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WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

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Depression

Description: A deteriorating mental state that can include despondency and a loss of interest or pleasure in life. The federal government estimates the cost of all types of depression is $43.7 billion each year -- $12.4 billion in medical, psychiatric, and drug costs; $7.5 billion in depression-related suicide; and $23.8 billion in work absenteeism and lost productivity.

Symptoms: Sleep disturbances, loss of satisfaction in daily activities, low energy levels, difficulty concentrating, and a wide range of physical conditions.

Number of Americans diagnosed: Depression affects more than 17 million Americans.

Long-term problems/treatments: In most people, depression can be treated in an office setting by a psychiatrist or other therapist. Most adult patients with major or chronic depression are given antidepressants, which have been found to be very effective. Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are now the first-line treatment of major depression. They work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain.
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Resources

National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association

Depression-Screeing.org

MedlinePlus -- Depression

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