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Everyone gets the blues now and then In fact its perfectly normal to feel sad and discouraged at times Its also quite appropriate to feel grief after a loss However when a low mood doesnt go away the person may be suffering from clinical depression In other words depression that is serious enough to require treatment It is one of the most painful but also most common and treatable of all mental illnesses According to the American Psychiatric Association one in four women and one in ten men can expect to develop this illness at some point in their lives The good news is that at least 80 percent of people with clinical depression can now be treated successfully with medications psycho therapy or both In order to benefit from treatment however you must recognize the illness Unfortunately too many people still regard depression as something you just have to live with Others fail to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental illness or the lack of access to mental health care As a result two-thirds of the Americans who experience a depressive illness fail to get treatment Stress Stress is the bodys response to change Since change is unavoidable stress is a normal part of life However when stress is severe or sustained it can sometimes trigger depression This is particularly true of stress due to a loss such as the death of a loved one the end of a relationship or the loss of a job But even positive changes such as getting married can lead to stress Some things that a stressful life change would include one death of a spouse or close family member marital separation or divorce jail term personal injury or illness mostly in males being fired from work or retirement In the past the term reactive depression was used for depression that had no obvious outside cause and thus seemed to arise from some biological factor
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