Conditions InDepth: Depression
Depression is a serious condition that involves your body, mood, and thoughts. It can affect the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression. People with depression may not recognize that they have a treatable disorder or they may be discouraged from seeking or staying with treatment due to feelings of shame and the associated stigma. Too often, untreated or inadequately treated depression is associated with suicide. There are several main types of mental disorders which feature depression as a primary symptoms:
- Major depressive disorder
- Dysthymic disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal affective disorder
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
Depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-easy-to-read/depression-trifold.pdf . Accessed July 30, 2012.
Depression: what you need to know. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/mental-health-info/depression/depression-what-you-need-to-know/depression-what-you-need-to-know . Accessed July 30, 2012.
Stern T, Rosenbaum J, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch S. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014
- Update Date: 09/17/2014