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Depression

Introduction

According to Mental Health America, over 19 million people are diagnosed with depression each year. But what exactly is depression? It is more than just feeling sad. In fact, it is a treatable medical condition that should not be dismissed.

There are three types of depressive disorders:

Causes of Depression

There are several causes of depression. First, depression is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which makes some more likely to develop depressive symptoms. There also seems to be genetic factor related to depression, since it appears to run in families. Finally, environmental factors can play a role in someone developing depression. Life changing events, such as the death of a loved one of losing a job, can trigger depression.

Symptoms of Depression

People who are depressed suffer from all or many of these symptoms:

If You Think You Are Depressed

Please visit your health care provider if you think you are suffering from depression. There are many treatments and support groups available for you. Please read the NetWellness article about the Treatment of Depression for more information about your options.

 


Much of this information was taken from the National Institute of Mental Health's publication on depression.

For more information:

Go to the Depression health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: Feb 13, 2009

Lawson  Wulsin, MD Lawson Wulsin, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Training Director of the Family Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati