If you're suffering from depression, you're not alone.  Sioux Falls Psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Stanley with Avera Behavioral Health Services says depression affects millions of people world wide!

"You know it's one of the most common medical illnesses that occur," Dr. Stanley tells us.  "On average around 20 percent of the population suffers from depression---not only in this country, but throughout the world.  It's a very prevalent illness.:"

Unfortunately, not everyone with the illness is seeking help.

"One of the things that is difficult with depression (when you're in the very depths of  the illness), it does affect your perception.  You don't use your usual judgement and often you don't reach out to those individuals that can help you."

Dr. Stanley says the bottom line is this:  Depression is not different from any other illness.

"Depression is not a lack of faith, lack of effort.  It's not a character defect.  You need to leave that perception at the door because it only slows you down and holds you back.  You need to look at depression as managing a chronic illness just like managing diabetes.  There are many facets of depression.  But, the good news is the illness is treatable."

Dr. Stanley says there are a number of resources in the Sioux Falls community that can help residents suffering from depression.