Depression is a common, but serious mental health problem. It involves your body, moods, and thoughts. It can touch all parts of your life such as how you eat and sleep, act, or feel about yourself and others. Depression is not the same as a blue mood. Though it may start after a trauma or sad event it lingers longer and is more severe than is expected.
Treatment can help to manage symptoms. Most will get better if they're treated. Without treatment, depression may linger for longer periods of time or recur often. Some may have more severe depression that leads to serious illnesses and increased risk of suicide.
There are many types of mental health problems that feature depression:
- Major depressive disorder
- Dysthymic disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal affective disorder
There is no one cause of depression. Life events, genes, and your overall mental health may all play a role.
Depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed January 15, 2020.
Depressive disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/mood-disorders/depressive-disorders. Accessed January 15, 2020.
Major depressive disorder (MDD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/major-depressive-disorder-mdd. Accessed January 15, 2020.
Last reviewed August 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD Last Updated: 12/15/2020