Quick Facts: Depression

What is depression?

A mood disorder that affects how you think, feel and behave, depression is more than just a feeling of the “blues.” It is not something you can “snap out of,” and it may require long-term treatment.

Women are more at risk for depression, as are people who have a personal or family history of mood disorders, substance abuse or traumatic life events. Also at higher risk are those who take certain medications.

Depression can result in emotional, behavioral and health problems that can affect all areas of your life.

What are some of the symptoms of depression?

Some of the characteristics of depression are:

  • A sad mood
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Diminished interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Indecisiveness
  • Difficulty concentrating

What are the potential complications of depression?

If left untreated, depression may lead to further emotional or physical challenges. Potential complications associated with depression may include:

  • Obesity or excess weight gain, which can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other health concerns
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety, panic disorder or social phobia
  • Relationship difficulties and work or school problems
  • Social isolation
  • Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Self-mutilation
  • Premature death from other medical conditions

Are there ways to prevent depression?

Some of the ways to address depression are: 

  • Managing stress
  • Reaching out to friends and family in times of crisis
  • Seeking medical help at the earliest sign of depression to keep it from worsening
  • Considering long-term counseling or medical support to prevent relapse

What are some of the treatments for depression?

Most people who suffer from depression respond well to medication and/or psychological counseling.

Your primary care physician can prescribe various medications to help you overcome depression. They will work with you to determine which of these medicines is the right choice for you.

Sometimes, avoiding alcohol and other substances, getting exercise and getting good quality sleep can help.

What are the rates of depression in the U.S.?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in ten adults in the United States report suffering from depression.

What are the rates of depression in Prince George’s County?

According to the Prince George’s County Health Department, about 7.7 percent of adults ages 18+ in the county report having been diagnosed at some time with a depressive disorder.

How does Doctors Community Hospital help people who have depression? 

Managing depression sometimes requires the support of many healthcare professionals.  Given the impact of depression on your physical health, a primary care physician can help. 

Metropolitan Medical Specialists provides personalized, top-quality primary care for all adults, as well as adolescents ages 16 and older. We guide your comprehensive medical care and help address a range of acute and chronic conditions, including:

Learn more about our Metropolitan Medical Specialists.