by Joan-Marie Moss
you're not suffering from depression yourself, chances are that
anywhere from 15 to 50 of every hundred people you know are. It
is an insidious illness that sucks an individual further and further
into a state of "impotence" and at the same time impacts the well-being
of everyone who comes in contact with him/her. The numbers offered
here are somewhat ambiguous because depression is only recently
recognized as a real illness and not a figment of one's imagination.
Diane, who has been suffering
from depression for more than eleven years, is one of those who
are willing to talk about her illness. She says, "Most people are
still very much surprised that I admit and am willing to talk openly
about my depression. There is still a stigma associated with the
disease. People still don't understand." For this reason, we won't
use real names in this article although the people who shared their
stories are very real.
Incidences of this illness
are staggering. An estimated 10-14 million Americans suffer from
depression, according to a recent article in the Alliance for the
Mentally Ill publication. Other estimates range as high as 35-40
No one is immune from
an attack of depression. Keep in mind that everyone feels "down"
or "blue" at times. That's normal. But it's been estimated that
26 out of 100 women and 12 out of every 100 men will have a major
depressive episode at least once in their lives. For creative individuals
the estimate increases to 38 out of 100.
Statistics can be deceiving
and any attempt to quantify this disease could be challenged. Particularly
since, according to the Alliance for Mentally Ill, we're talking
about those who are only now beginning to and seek help -- 80 %
of those suffering from depression never seek treatment and suffer
DuPage County is not immune.
In fact, Dr. Martin Russo, a physician working with Central DuPage
Hospital with offices in Bloomingdale, reports that easily forty
to fifty percent of his patients are suffering from depression.
Social workers and doctors throughout the county report similar
For this article only
the most conservative numbers will be used. The indication, then,
is that at least 150 out of every thousand suffer from this debilitating
disease. In DuPage County, Illinois that translates to more than
of 132,000 -- in Elmhurst, approximately 6,300 people -- live with
some level of depression.
Editor's Note: This article is not intended to serve as
medical advice. If you or anyone you know suffers from depression,
please seek help from a qualified mental health professional or