Blues; Gloom; Sadness; Melancholy
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.
Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a longer period of time.
For more information on the symptoms and treatment of depression, see:
Symptoms of depression include:
Low self-esteem is common with depression. It is also common to have sudden bursts of anger and a lack of pleasure from activities that normally make you happy, including sex.
Depressed children may not have the same symptoms as adult depression. Watch for changes in school work, sleep, and behavior. If you wonder whether your child might be depressed, it's worth talking to a health care provider.
The main types of depression include:
Other common forms of depression include:
Depression may also alternate with mania (known as manic depression or bipolar disorder).
Depression may be more common in women than men. This may be because women tend to seek help for it more. Depression is also more common during the teenage years.
Depression often runs in families. This may be due to your genes (inherited), behaviors you learn at home, or both. Even if your genes make you more likely to develop depression, a stressful or unhappy life event usually triggers the depression.
Many factors can cause depression, including:
Fava M, Cassano P. Mood disorders: Major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 29.
American Psychiatric Association. Practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. 2nd ed. September 2007.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885