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Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Depression disorder information

When someone gets depressed, they will start to feel sad or down most of the time and will show less interest in the things in life that would usually bring happiness. It’s common for people with depression to stop spending time with friends and family, to stop doing activities and hobbies that they typically enjoy, and to put less effort into responsibilities at home and work or school. To other people, a person suffering from depression may appear tearful at times, irritable, unmotivated, and sluggish. Many people with depression also have a hard time focusing or concentrating. They may have a hard time doing anything that requires attention, like paying bills or completing work-related tasks, and may even have a hard time carrying on a conversation.

It’s also common for a person with depression to have some physical signs that something is not quite right. Depression can cause a person to eat a lot more or a lot less than usual, which can lead to drastic changes in their body weight. Depression also causes changes in normal sleeping habits. Some people end up sleeping much more than usual, and still feel tired. Other people with depression have a hard time falling asleep or sleeping well through the night.

One of the more dangerous aspects of depression is the tendency for people to have recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. While not everyone with depression becomes a threat to themselves, suicide is a leading cause of death among people with depression. If you or someone you know with depression is having thoughts or plans of suicide, it is imperative to seek professional help immediately.

A common misconception is that people need a specific reason to feel depressed, like losing a job, a relationship ending, or other drastic life changes. In reality, many people who become depressed cannot describe one specific thing that caused them to feel down. Many people who suffer from depression tell us that everything is great in their lives and that they don’t know why they are feeling down.

Many of us will have times in our lives that we’re feeling down, but when the feelings last for more than 2 consecutive weeks, and things do not seem to be getting better despite the situation changing, you may be depressed. The good news is that there are many treatment options for depression. The bad news is that no one particular option works for everyone. The sooner you reach out and take the first steps toward getting help, the sooner you’ll be able to get through the depression and get your life back.


  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment


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