It is estimated that approximately 3% of the population in the west suffer from chronic depression. 16% will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Twenty years ago, these figures were 1.5% and 5%, respectively.
In the United States alone, there are approximately 20 million chronic depressives. About 10% of these are children, which is an extremely alarming statistic. It is alarming because depressed children always grow up to depressed adults -- and in turn, depressed adults often (although fortunately not always) produce depressed children.
Bi-polar disorder, a condition closely related to depression, affects less people (depression is roughly ten times as common as bi-polar disorder) but it is much more dangerous. It causes extreme mood swings and unpredictable, often self-destructive behaviour. We must understand what is Bi-polar and why did they give such a label to an illness.
No-one dies directly from depression or manic depression. However, indirectly bipolar illness is the second most common cause of death for young women in the developed world, the third most common for men. Depression is silent killer one of the causes is STRESS.
Depression and its complications are the number one cause for disability in the US. World wide (including the "developing" nations), depression takes away more years from people's lives than wars, AIDS and cancer combined (as calculated by age at which a person dies / becomes disabled due to depression vs. the expectancy of healthy life-years).
Depression and substance abuse are closely linked, so we also must take into account the deaths caused by alcoholism or other substance abuse; also, deaths caused by heart disease and several types of cancers may also be indirectly linked to depression, and the self-destructiveness and unwillingness to take care of oneself it produces.
All things considered, depression may be indirectly the number one cause of death in the world.
Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men (whether the reasons are biological, social or a combination of the two, I cannot say), while men are more likely to abuse alcohol and/or other substances or commit suicide.
An astonishing 15% of all depressed people (men and women) will attempt suicide at some point in their lives. For people who suffer from mild depression, this figure is about 4%.
The Noonday Demon: an Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
several websites that deal with depression and other mental health issues
It's a tragedy really. I hate to think of all the nordish young men and women who perish by self-slaughter. As you say, suicide is a very common cause of death nowadays. As an example of how common it is, apparently, statistics say that all swedish traindrivers (=lokförare?) will kill something like 1,65 (I don't have the exact number) persons during their career,where the bulc concists of suicidal people standing on the rail to commit suicide. From what observations I've made, I've come to think that the present structure of the society is the big cause of this. Cultural roothlessness, lack of unity within the people and self-denial and similuar things that derives from our present misery ought to be reasons for this as well.
Please do not believe what is on the website, you must understand the root of what is Bipolar.
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