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Depression is a mood disorder that affects many people in different ways. Everybody experiences sadness at different points in life but if persistent sadness starts interfering with daily life, it could be depression.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Significant increase or decrease in appetite
  • Feelings of agitation
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness much of the time
  • Inability to concentrate almost every day
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Common Types of Depression

Major depression: People who experience depression for two weeks or longer and have at least five symptoms, including depressed mood and loss of interest, may be diagnosed with major depression.

Dysthymia: Also known as chronic depression, this disorder is often described as a "veil of sadness." People who are diagnosed with dysthymia have a low mood for long periods of time.

Psychotic depression: This occurs when a person has severe depression combined with some form of psychosis, which can include false beliefs or a break from reality.

Seasonal affective disorder: People with seasonal affective disorder experience depression in the fall or winter.

Postpartum depression: Mothers may experience depression after the birth of a child. There are different categories of postpartum depression depending on the severity of symptoms, which include feeling overwhelmed, irritability and a lack of feeling for the baby.


A number of treatment options exist for people diagnosed with depression. Treatment will depend on the type of diagnosis but could include one or more of the following:

  • Antidepressant medication
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • TMS therapy

If you are having feelings of suicide, call 800-691-4336 for a free confidential assessment.