Each year in this country, depression affects millions of adults and children.  In fact, the World Health Organization reports depression will be the second greatest cause of premature death and disability worldwide by the year 2020.

Dr. Matthew Stanley is a psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Avera Behavioral Health Center in Sioux Falls.  "Depression is extremely common.  Estimates indicate over a lifetime 20 percent of Americans will struggle with depression at some point.  If we include those who are affected by loved ones, a friend or someone close to them, we are all dealing with depression either directly or indirectly."

Unfortunately, some people don't seek treatment for Depression because of the stigma attached to mental health disorders.  "I do think there's been improvement in that area.  I think that many people understand it's an illness that no one chooses to have.  Some of the former beliefs that it was lack of faith, lack of discipline, poor child rearing---those things have pretty much been debunked."

If you or someone you know is battling depression, Dr. Stanley says the illness can be successfully treated via a variety of options, including medication and therapy.