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Depression

Also called: Clinical depression, Dysthymic disorder, Major depressive disorder, Unipolar depression

Summary

Depression is a serious medical illness. It's more than just a feeling of being sad or "blue" for a few days. If you are one of the more than 19 million teens and adults in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include

  • Feeling sad or "empty"
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Feeling very tired
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression is a disorder of the brain. There are a variety of causes, including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but it often begins in teens and young adults. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.

There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants, talk therapy, or both.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health) Also in
  • (American Psychiatric Association)

Symptoms

  • (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • Antidepressants: FreeFacebookCredits2012 Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (Consumers Union of U.S.)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Living With

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Related Issues

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health) Also in
  • (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)
  • (Mental Health America)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Association of Suicidology) - PDF

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Family Caregiver Alliance) Also in
  • (Mental Health America)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Lupus Foundation of America)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Health Check Tools

  • (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

Videos and Tutorials

  • From the National Institutes of Health Video (National Institute of Mental Health)

Statistics and Research

  • (Mental Health America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
  • (NAMI)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health
  • (American Psychological Association)

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)

Men

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute of Mental Health) Also in

Women

  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in
  • (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) - PDF Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Seniors

  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute of Mental Health) Also in

Patient Handouts

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