Understanding Depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mental illnesses in America, affecting more than 21 million adults.1

People who haven't experienced it may think depression is a mood or a choice, but anyone who has lived with it knows it's so much more than that. There are good days, bad days, and some days so difficult that it takes all your strength to fight for the next good one.

Depression can happen to anyone, at any age, and to people of any race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or religious background.2

So many people with depression don't treat it because they don't think it's serious.2 Depression isn't something you can “snap out of” and it isn't a personal weakness. It's a serious medical condition that deserves attention and support, just like any physical ailment.

The Impact of Depression on Our Community

LGBTQ+ adults are three times as likely to have mental health conditions compared to heterosexual adults.3 But many don't have a name for hard-to-treat depression or are unsure of where to turn for help.

Dealing with discrimination or rejection from loved ones and society, or not feeling confident in or trusting of the healthcare system, can all impact your mental health.

13%

Among adults living with mental illness, 13% of LGBQ adults experience more serious symptoms that greatly interfere with major life activities compared to only 4% of cisgender heterosexual adults.4

Nearly60%

Nearly 60% of LGBTQ adults are experiencing poor mental health today.5

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Bisexual and transgender people have the highest rates of mental health concerns within the LGBTQ+ community.6

2.5 Times higher

LGBTQ+ adults use mental health services at 2.5 times higher rates than cisgender heterosexual adults.6

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An analysis from 18 US states showed that the largest rate of suicide is among middle-aged LGBTQ people with mental illness.7

40%

Additionally, 40% of all transgender adults report that they have attempted suicide in their lifetime compared to less than 5% of the total US population.8

Depression Defined

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What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)?

Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is a common and serious medical illness that changes how you feel, think, and act. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to help manage your depression.

Depression is more than just feeling sad. It can make you lose interest in activities you once enjoyed and cause emotional and physical problems, causing you to lose your ability to function at work and home.9

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.10 While most people with depression can fully recover with the right treatment, only about 1/3 of people with severe depression seek treatment from a healthcare professional.2

I've had treatment, why am I still depressed?

For some people, symptoms of depression persist even after treatment. When an individual doesn't respond to two or more antidepressants (of adequate dose and duration), this is sometimes referred to as treatment-resistant depression or TRD.

Nearly 1/3 of people who have MDD are treatment resistant.11 Some patients also have a more severe form of MDD where a person experiences a sudden worsening of depressive symptoms, which can cause them to consider or act on thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

While studies show that 60% of people who die by suicide have major depression,12 it is important to note that not all patients living with MDD have suicidal thoughts or actions.

While these forms of depression are serious, the good news is there are other depression treatment options that can help. Depression is not your fault and there is hope.

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