Reviewed by Melinda (Santa) Gladden, LCSW
Depression is a common mental health condition. According to the World Health Organization or WHO, 264 million people throughout the world live with depression. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, and it is not something to be taken lightly. If you're reading this, you might be wondering, "what is a depression chat?" or "what is a depression chart for?" Read on to learn more about depression, depression charts, and how to get help.
What Is Depression?
The word depression can be used in multiple ways, but it's typically used to describe depression as a mental health condition or mental state. The American Psychological Association (APA) dictionary describes two potential definitions of depression by saying:
- a negative affective state, ranging from unhappiness and discontent to an extreme feeling of sadness, pessimism, and despondency, interferes with daily life. Various physical, cognitive, and social changes also tend to co-occur, including altered eating or sleeping habits, lack of energy or motivation, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and withdrawal from social activities. It is symptomatic of a number of mental health disorders.
- in psychiatry and psychology, any of the depressive disorders. —depressed adj.”
There are many different depressive disorders or types of depression, including major depressive disorder or MDD, persistent depressive disorder or PDD, and other forms of depression, such as seasonal affective disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder PMDD. Someone may also experience periods of depression if they have other mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, characterized by periods of depression and mania or hypomania. Depression is typically characterized by a low or depressed mood and/or the loss of interest in activities one usually enjoys. It isn't the same as feeling sad or down when something upsets you and feeling better soon after; depressive disorders are mental health conditions that can be debilitating. The good news is that, while it is hard to live with depression, depressive disorders are highly treatable mental health conditions.
Each depressive disorder is characterized by different symptoms and criteria, but some general signs of depression look out for. Here are some common depression symptoms:
- A low or depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities one would typically enjoy
- Trouble focusing and concentrating
- Irritability or agitation
- Hypersomnia or insomnia (sleeping too much or too little)
- Changes in appetite
- Isolation from others
- Excessive crying
- Emotional numbness
These are all symptoms that you may see on a depression chart or depression symptom chart. If you notice these symptoms in yourself, make sure to reach out to a medical or mental health provider who can help.
What Is A Depression Chart?
When someone uses the term "depression chart," they could be talking about many different things. In this context, we will talk about charts used to determine depressive symptoms or rate depressive symptoms. In medical settings, depression charts or screeners might be used to help gauge a person's level of depression. If you have ever gotten a paper at the doctor that asks you questions like, "how many days in the past two weeks have you experienced a low or depressed mood?" That is likely depression or a general mental health screener. Not all doctors' offices do this, but many do it to detect symptoms and allow people who need help to reach out for help when they wouldn't otherwise. Another example of a depression chart is a chart that lists depressive symptoms and allows you to rate your experience with those symptoms on a scale, such as a scale of 1 to 5 or a scale of 1 to 10. If you search for a depression chart using Google images, you will see charts that are similar to this idea in the sense that they allow you to gauge your mood based on a scale of 1 to 10. You will also notice charts with depression statistics, another potential definition of the term "depression chart." Depression charts that show statistics are useful because they give us information about depressive disorders and their impact. Depression charts in this context are beneficial because they are an easily digestible way to get information about depression, just like a depression chart or depression screener is used to gauge a person's symptoms is a digestible way to help them understand what they might be going through.
Depression Facts And Statistics
Here are some facts and statistics about depression and depressive disorders:
- Major depressive disorder or MDD, which is characterized by episodes of a low or depressed mood or loss of interest in activities one used to enjoy, or both, that stay for two weeks or more, impacts about 16.1 million adults in the United States alone aged 18 and above.
- Persistent depressive disorder, a depressive disorder characterized by chronic, low-level depression that stays for two years or more, impacts about 3.3 million adults aged 18 and older in the United States alone.
- Depressive disorders can impact people of all ages. About 3.2% of children from the ages of 3 to 17 have a diagnosis of depression.
- Although, again, depressive disorders can impact people of all ages, including children, the average age of diagnosis for depression is 32.5.
- Depressive disorders impact women disproportionately, and more women are diagnosed with depressive disorders than men.
- It is common for individuals living with depressive disorders and other mental health conditions to experience comorbid or co-occurring mental health conditions. Some of the most prevalent co-occurring or comorbid conditions for those living with depressive disorders include anxiety disorders and substance use disorder.
Where Do You Go For A Depression Screening?
If you are interested in talking to someone because you feel that you may have a depressive disorder and would like an evaluation or screening for depression, it is very important to speak to a medical or mental health provider. To find a provider that can give you a depression screening, you can go to your primary care physician, make an appointment with a new general doctor if you don't have one already, or look for a psychiatrist near you. The important thing is that you reach out to someone. Depression is not something you have to suffer from in silence, and many people with depression lead full, happy, and healthy lives.
Again, depression is a highly treatable condition. People seek counselors and therapists for many reasons. Even if you just need someone to talk to, counseling or therapy can help. One of the most commonly used forms of therapy for depression is called cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is a short-term, non-invasive form of talk therapy that is highly effective for a number of disorders, including depressive disorders. For all information regarding specific therapies or treatments, make sure to talk to a medical or mental health provider.
Finding A Counselor Or Therapist For Depression
If you are seeking a counselor or therapist, there are a variety of routes you can take. Again, many people start at the doctor, just as they do when describing depressive symptoms. A doctor can give you a referral to a mental health care provider, or you can contact your insurance company or visit their website to see who they cover, use an online mental health provider directory, or search the web for "counselors near me or "depression therapist near me" to find a provider in your area. You may also consider online therapy or counseling through a website like BetterHelp. Online counseling is often less expensive than traditional in-person counseling without insurance, and getting paired with a provider is faster.
If you are struggling to find a mental healthcare professional, the Mind Diagnostics provider search tool can help. The provider search tool is located in the upper right-hand corner of the website, and all that you have to do to find a therapist or counselor near you is type in your zip code and press the magnifying glass or hit "enter" on your keyboard. Then, you will find a list of providers in your area, and even better, you will get to see their online profile before you see them in person, which can give you an idea as to which provider you'd like to see—your mental health matters.
Free Depression Help
There are a number of ways that you can get help for depression for free. If you're unable to afford mental health treatment, you aren't alone. You may be able to get free counseling or therapy through community centers, religious institutions, or, if applicable, the educational institute that you attend. In some cases, you may be able to receive scholarships or vouchers. Many counselors and therapists work on sliding scale rates. Additionally, under some insurances, you may be able to receive counseling or therapy for free or with a co-pay of as low as around $20.00 per session. In most US states, calling 211 is a way to learn about resources and options in your area, both for mental health and other resources, such as basic human needs, physical health resources, child care for low-income families, and employment support. If depression is impacting your life, help is available.
Take The Mind Diagnostics Depression Test
Are you wondering if you might have depression or symptoms of depression? If so, consider taking the Mind Diagnostics depression test. The Mind Diagnostics depression test is not a replacement for an evaluation or diagnosis from a medical or mental health professional, but taking it can give you insight and symptoms. Taking the test might just be the first step to getting the help you need. While depression can impact people of all ages, the Mind Diagnostics depression test is for those aged 18 and older. Taking the Mind Diagnostics depression test is fast, free, and confidential. If you notice depression symptoms in yourself after taking the test or viewing a depression chart, make sure to reach out to a medical or mental health care professional.
To access the Mind Diagnostics depression test, click the following link or copy and paste it into your browser: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/depression-test.
NOTES: Please make a note that the depression test should not take the place of treatment and diagnosis of a mental health professional.
Does not go against what is clinically accepted.
Does not encourage mindsets or practices that may be harmful to the reader.
Is factual and up-to-date.