Depression

While everybody feels sad or blue every once in a while, many people suffer from an actual medical condition, known as depression, that affects their lives on a daily basis. Depression is characterized by constant feelings of sadness or emptiness, and may be triggered by certain events or co-exist with other illnesses.

There are several different depressive disorders, but major depressive disorder is the most common. Symptoms of major depression include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Crying spells
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

Like other psychological disorders, the cause of depression is not specifically known, but is believed to be a combination of genetic, biological and environmental factors. Depression often occurs with other illnesses including anxiety disorders, substance abuse, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Although depression can be a serious condition, it is highly treatable. It is important to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms to help prevent the condition from worsening. Treatment of depression typically includes medication and psychotherapy. Following effective treatment methods can help make depression a manageable and much less dangerous condition.