Also called: Clinical depression, Dysthymic disorder, Major depressive disorder, Unipolar depression
Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Change in weight
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Energy loss
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression can run in families, and usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. 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, and TMS therapy. Most people do best by using a combination of treatments.