What Is Depression?
The word "depression" may be confusing. It is often incorrectly used to describe feelings that many people experience when they are sad or under stress. This page will discuss Clinical Depression (a mood disorder with specific, emotionally painful symptoms). These symptoms are severe, last a long time, and often return.
Common Symptoms of Clinical Depression:
I feel sad or blue
I have been crying lately
I am having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
There have been changes in my appetite
I have been less interested in pleasurable activities
My self esteem has been less than normal
I have noticed trouble concentrating and remembering
I have less interest in sex than I used to
I have thoughts of my own death
Clinical Depression affects people's moods, their thinking, their behavior, and their bodies. People with clinical depression are often unable to imagine an end to their depression. Some people are often so affected by their symptoms that they are unable to reach out for help. Without effective treatment, episodes of clinical depression may last for months, or even years. Clinical depression should not be confused with grief a person has after a divorce, death, or other major loss. The sadness that follows such grief typically goes away without treatment.
Facts about Depression
Is very treatable
Is more serious and last longer than feeling 'down-in-the dumps" or having "the blues"
Can affect all parts of a person's life
Is a painful state of mind
Goes hand in hand with low self-esteem and negative thinking
Affects energy and mood
Interferes with full participation in life
Can last for months and sometimes years
Is likely to come back quickly if not fully treated
Can recur more than once, even if treated
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This website was last updated 06/14/2012.
© 2005 Mood Disorders Treatment and Research Program (MDTRP), Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), UPMC Health System