What is depression?

Everyone feels sad or low sometimes, but these feelings usually pass with a little time. Depression (also called major depressive sầu disorder or clinical depression) is different. It can cause severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. It is an illness that can affect anyone—regardless of age, race, income, culture, or education. Retìm kiếm suggests that genetic, biological, environmental, và psychological factors play a role in depression.

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Depression may occur with other mental disorders and other illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, & chronic pain. Depression can make these conditions worse, và vice versa. Sometimes medications taken for these illnesses cause side effects that contribute khổng lồ depression symptoms.

What are the different types of depression?

Two comtháng forms of depression are:

Major depression, which includes symptoms of depression most of the time for at least 2 weeks that typically interfere with one’s ability khổng lồ work, sleep, study, and eat.Persistent depressive sầu disorder (dysthymia), which often includes less severe symptoms of depression that last much longer, typically for at least 2 years.

Other forms of depression include:

Seasonal affective sầu disorder, which comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in late fall & early winter & going away during spring and summer.

Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression or manic-depressive sầu illness) also experience depression.

What are the signs & symptoms of depression?

Comtháng symptoms of depression include:

Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” moodFeelings of hopelessness or pessimismFeelings of irritability, frustration‚ or restlessnessFeelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessnessLoss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activitiesDecreased energy, fatigue, or being “slowed down”Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisionsDifficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleepingChanges in appetite or unplanned weight changesAches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that vày not ease even with treatmentSuicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide

If you or someone you know is in immediate digăng tay or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You also can text the Crisis Text Line (HELLO lớn 741741) or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.

How is depression diagnosed?

To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have five sầu depression symptoms every day, nearly all day, for at least 2 weeks. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. Children và adolescents may be irritable rather than sad.

If you think you may have sầu depression, talk khổng lồ your health care provider. Primary care providers routinely diagnose & treat depression and refer individuals to mental health professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists.

During the visit, your provider may ask when your symptoms began, how long they last, how often they occur, và if they keep you from going out or doing your usual activities. It may help khổng lồ make some notes about your symptoms before your visit. Certain medications and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same depression symptoms. Your provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests.

Read xemlienminh360.net’s Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider to lớn help prepare for and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, visit the Agency for Healthcare Retìm kiếm và Quality website.

Does depression look the same in everyone?

Depression can affect people differently, depending on their age.

Children with depression may be anxious, cranky, pretend khổng lồ be sichồng, refuse lớn go to lớn school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.

Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, be easily frustrated‚ feel restless, or have sầu low self-esteem. They also may have sầu other disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or substance use disorder. Older children and teens are more likely lớn experience excessive sầu sleepiness (called hypersomnia) and increased appetite (called hyperphagia). In adolescence, females begin to lớn experience depression more often than males, likely due to the biological, life cycle, and hormonal factors chất lượng khổng lồ women.

Younger adults with depression are more likely to lớn be irritable, complain of weight gain & hypersomnia, and have a negative sầu view of life & the future. They often have sầu other disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, và substance use disorders.

Middle-aged adults with depression may have sầu more depressive sầu episodes, decreased libivị, middle-of-the-night insomnia, or early morning awakening. They also may more frequently report having gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation.

Older adults with depression commonly experience sadness or grief or may have other less obvious symptoms. They may report a laông xã of emotions rather than a depressed mood. Older adults also are more likely to lớn have sầu other medical conditions or pain that may cause or contribute khổng lồ depression. In severe cases, memory và thinking problems (called pseudodementia) may be prominent.

How is depression treated?

Depression treatment typically involves medication, psychotherapy, or both. If these treatments bởi vì not reduce symptoms, brain stimulation therapy may be another treatment option. In milder cases of depression, treatment might begin with psychotherapy alone, and medication added if the individual continues lớn experience symptoms. For moderate or severe depression, many mental health professionals recommend a combination of medication and therapy at the start of treatment.

Choosing the right treatment plan should be based on a person’s individual needs và medical situation under a provider’s care. It may take some trial and error lớn find the treatment that works best for you. You can learn more about the different types of treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies on the xemlienminh360.net"s depression webpage. For information on finding a mental health professional and questions to ask when considering therapy, visit xemlienminh360.net’s psychotherapies webpage.

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Antidepressants are medications commonly used lớn treat depression. They take time to work—usually 4 to lớn 8 weeks—và symptoms such as problems with sleep, appetite, or concentration often improve sầu before mood lifts. It is important lớn give medication a chance before deciding whether or not it works.

Please Note: Some individuals—especially children, teenagers, và young adults—may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking antidepressants, particularly in the first few weeks after starting or when the dose is changed. All patients taking antidepressants should be watched closely, especially during the first few weeks of treatment.

Information about medications changes frequently. Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trang web for the lachạy thử warnings, patient medication guides, and newly approved medications.

Treatment-resistant depression occurs when a person doesn’t get better after trying at least two antidepressants. Esketamine is a newer FDA-approved medication for treatment-resistant depression delivered as a nasal spray in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. It often acts rapidly—typically within a couple of hours—khổng lồ relieve depression symptoms. Individuals usually continue lớn take an oral antidepressant khổng lồ maintain the improvement in depression.

Another option for treatment-resistant depression is lớn add a different type of medication that may make an antidepressant more effective sầu, such as an antipsychotic or anticonvulsant medication or bupropion, an antidepressant that works differently from most.

Medications prescribed by your health care provider for depression can have side effects, but these may lessen over time. Talk to your provider about any side effects that you have sầu. Do not stop taking medications without the help of a health care provider. If you abruptly stop taking your medicine, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

FDA has not approved any natural products for depression. While retìm kiếm is ongoing, some people find natural products, including vitamin D và the herbal dietary supplement St. John’s wort, to help depression. Do not use St. John’s wort or other dietary supplements for depression before talking lớn your provider. For more information, visit the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health trang web.


Psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy” or “counseling”) teaches individuals with depression new ways of thinking và behaving và helps with changing habits that contribute khổng lồ depression. Most psychotherapy occurs with a licensed, trained mental health professional in one-on-one sessions or with other individuals in a group setting. Two effective sầu psychotherapies khổng lồ treat depression include cognitive sầu behavioral therapy (CBT) & interpersonal therapy (IPT). The use of older forms of psychotherapy, such as dynamic therapy, for a limited time also may help some people with depression.

With CBT, people learn to challenge and change unhelpful thinking patterns và behavior to improve their depressive and anxious feelings. Recent advances in CBT include introducing mindfulness principles and the development of specialized forms of therapy targeting particular symptoms, such as insomnia.

IPT focuses on interpersonal & life events that impact mood & vice versa. The goal of IPT is khổng lồ help people improve sầu their communication skills within relationships, establish social support networks, & develop realistic expectations khổng lồ help them khuyến mãi with crises or other issues that may be contributing to or worsening their depression.

Brain Stimulation Therapy

Brain stimulation therapy, which involves activating or inhibiting the brain directly with electrithành phố or magnetic waves, is another option for some people when other depression treatments have sầu not been effective sầu.

The most comtháng forms of brain stimulation therapy include electroconvulsive sầu therapy và repetitive sầu transcranial magnetic stimulation. Other brain stimulation therapies are newer &, in some cases, still experimental.

How can I find help?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, an online tool for finding mental health treatment và tư vấn groups in your area. For additional resources, visit xemlienminh360.net"s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.

How can I take care of myself?

Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try khổng lồ vày things you used to enjoy. Even if you don’t feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:

Try lớn get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.Try lớn maintain a regular bedtime và wake-up time.Eat regular, healthy meals.Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done & what can wait.Try lớn connect with other people, & talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.

How can I help a loved one who is depressed?

If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:

Offer tư vấn, understanding, patience, & encouragement.Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.Help them stichồng to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders khổng lồ take prescribed medications.Make sure they have transportation to lớn therapy appointments.Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.

Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them khổng lồ your loved one’s health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate dicăng thẳng or thinking about hurting themselves, Call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Where can I find clinical trials for depression?

Clinical trials are retìm kiếm studies that look at new ways to lớn prsự kiện, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is lớn gain new scientific knowledge so others may receive sầu better help in the future.

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (xemlienminh360.net) & around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to lớn your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits và risks, và whether one is right for you. For more information, visit xemlienminh360.net"s clinical trials information.


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For More Information

MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine) (en español)

ClinicalTrials.gov (en español)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health xemlienminh360.net Publication No. 21-MH-8079 Revised 2021

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