The mental disorder with the most awareness surrounding it is depression. This was the first mental disorder that was identified as widespread and prevalent. In the 1990s, depression received a great deal of publicity and society grasped together that depression was something of an epidemic. Since then, depression has been the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of all of them. It affects nearly one in four people in North America. Depression is characterized as prevalent, reoccurring low moods, or ongoing low moods that last for an extended period of time. It is not the same thing as being sad, as everyone feels sad from time to time. Instead, it is a heavy darkness that robs a person of their joy, energy and productivity.
Depression is considered to be the most easily recognized mental disorder, but diagnosing it can be complicated. There are many other mental and personality disorders that come with symptoms that mimic depression. For example, a condition like borderline personality disorder often comes with risk taking tendencies that resemble suicidal behavior. For this reason, borderline personality disorder is frequently misdiagnosed as depression. Depression also frequently accompanies other disorders because the individual is struggling to cope with the ramifications of their disorder. For example, depression is found frequently in people afflicted with adult ADHD because it is common for ADHD sufferers to be rejected due to their lack of organizational skills.
Depression is commonly treated with medication and counseling, which can both be very effective. Depression can be one of the most harmful mental disorders because it stops a person from being able to move toward their goals and ambitions. It isolates a person in despair and lethargy away from the rest of the world. It is important that people who suffer from depression receive the treatment they need because people with depression are at a higher risk of suicide and self mutilation. Having said that, depression can also be one of the easiest disorders to live with when it is managed correctly and treatment is taken seriously.
Depression is sometimes one of two co-occurring disorders. Addiction and substance abuse can greatly enhance the symptoms of depression and requires specialized treatment. If someone you know is struggling with depression and addiction, the best resource are addiction, drug and alcohol rehab centers.