Clinical depression goes by many names -- depression, "the blues," biological depression, major depression. But it all refers to the same thing: feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end (not just a passing blue mood). This feeling is most often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy (or feeling "weighed down"), and taking little or no pleasure in things that gave you joy in the past.
A person who's depressed just "can't get moving" and feels completely unmotivated to do just about anything. Even simple things -- like getting dressed in the morning or eating -- become large obstacles in daily life. People around them -- their friends and family -- notice the change too. Often they want to help, but just don't know how.
We've compiled a library of depression resources for you to explore. We encourage you to take your time with these resources, print out things you'd like to read more carefully, and bring anything you have additional questions about to your family doctor or a mental health professional.
Depression is readily treated nowadays with modern antidepressant medications and short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy. Don't be put off by the number of things written about depression -- because it's so common, a lot has been written about it! Read what you need, and leave the rest for another day. Continue reading this introduction to depression...
What's Depression Feel Like?Certainty that an acute episode [of depression] will last only a week, a month, even a year, would change everything. It would still be a ghastly ordeal, but the worst thing about it -- the incessant yearning for death, the compulsion toward suicide -- would drop away. But no, a limited depression, a depression with hope, is a contradiction. The experience of convulsive pain, along with the conviction that it will never end except in death -- that is the definition of a severe depression.
Depression in the News
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Aug 2015
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