13 November 2009


"Two out of three people who struggle with depression never seek help...and untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide. In America alone, it’s estimated that 19 million people live with depression."

Untreated depression can lead to addiction, ruin relationships, and leave you unable to face everyday situations. Work suffers. Sleep suffers. Depression affects the way you eat, the way you feel about yourself, the way you treat other people. People who suffer from depression can't "just pull themselves together" and get over it. Clinical depression is not just "feeling blue." Left untreated, depression can last for years, and some people choose to deal with it by adopting addictions, turning to self-injury, or worse.

The good news is that depression is very treatable. Talk therapy, antidepressants, even diet and exercise can all be paths that lead away from clinical depression.

The Numbers
  • 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. (The World Health Organization)
  • 18 million of these cases are happening in the United States. (The National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Between 20% and 50% of children and teens struggling with depression have a family history of this struggle and the offspring of depressed parents are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression. (U.S. Surgeon General's Survey, 1999)
  • Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse, with 30 percent of teens with depression also developing a substance abuse problem. (NIMH)
  • 2/3 of those suffering from depression never seek treatment.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)
*statistics all from TWLOHA site

How You Can Help

If you know anyone who suffers from depression, you might have faced the feelings of helplessness or fear that you might lose someone you love. While there are many things you can do, talking to them—reaching out, picking up the phone, sending an email—is the best thing you can do If you suffer from depression, make an appointment with a counselor. Find treatment. Call a hotline. Not only are you not alone, you don't have to go through this by yourself—you can find someone to guide you.

Some good places to start:

National Hopeline Network (U.S.A.) - www.hopeline.com – 1-800-SUICIDE
S.A.F.E. Alternatives - www.selfinjury.com – 1-800-DONTCUT (Self Abuse Finally Ends)
Childhelp – www.childhelp.org – 1-800-4-A-CHILD (National Child Abuse Hotline)
National Domestic Violence Helpline - www.ndvh.org – 1-800-799-SAFE
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network - www.rainn.org – 1-800-656-HOPE (National Sexual Assault Hotline)
National Eating Disorders Association – www.nationaleatingdisorders.org – 1-800-931-2237

Today is To Write Love On Her Arms Day. To Write Love On Her Arms Day is a day when anyone can write the word love on their arms to support those who are suffering from depression and recovering from depression. So write love on your arms today and show it off. When people ask, you can tell them about To Write Love On Her Arms, and what they are doing for people with depression, addiction and pain. Buy a T-shirt. Make love the movement.

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