What is Depression?



Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who experience it need treatment to get better.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the vast majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Intensive research into the illness has resulted in the development of medications, psychotherapies, and other methods to treat people with this disabling disorder

This section will cover the following:

  • What Is Depression?
  • What are the different forms of depression?
  • What are the symptoms of depression?
  • What illnesses often co-exist with depression?
  • What causes depression?
  • How do women experience depression?
  • How do men experience depression?
  • How do older adults experience depression?
  • How do children and adolescents experience depression?
  • How is depression detected and treated?
  • How can I help a friend or relative who is depressed?
  • How can I help myself if I am depressed?
  • Where can I go for help?
  • What if I or someone I know is in crisis?

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