Beyond feeling sad occasionally, depression is a disease that has a major impact on the lives of those who suffer from it. But the fact that so many suffer from this disease means that there is good deal of information about what can be done to make living with depression better.
Depression can affect people at nearly every stage of their lives, typically from adolescence onwards. Depression and similar conditions are common, affecting between 2 and 16 percent of the adolescent and adult population. Despite its high prevalence, only around half of those suffering from depression are diagnosed.
Depression is characterized by persistent sad, anxious or hopeless feelings that affect normal activities. Other signs and symptoms include irritability, loss of interest in activities, decreased energy, problems eating and sleeping, and suicidal thoughts or attempts. There are several different kinds of depression that can be diagnosed.1*
The causes of depression are diverse, including genetic and environmental factors. Because of this, paying attention to lifestyle and diet in managing depression is important, in addition to any medicine prescribed for treatment. There is strong evidence that exercise can have a beneficial impact on mood, and numerous studies show that good nutrition may also play a role.2,3
At Nestlé Health Science, research into nutritional therapies for disorders of the brain, like depression, is one of our primary areas of focus in order to help patients manage their condition better.
1. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed December 2014.
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112800/. Accessed December 2014.
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4175905/. Accessed December 2014.
*Listed symptoms are not all-inclusive; actual patient symptoms may vary.