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Mood Disorders - Depression

Depression is not a weakness and you can't simply "snap out" of it. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

Depression typically have multiple episodes

-Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness.

-Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters.

-Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports.

-Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much.

-Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort.

-Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain.

-Anxiety, agitation or restlessness.

-Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements.

-Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame.

-Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things.

-Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide.

-Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.

Types of Mood Disorders

Major depression Having less interest in usual activities, feeling sad or hopeless, and other symptoms for at least 2 weeks may indicate depression.

Dysthymia This is a chronic, low-grade, depressed, or irritable mood that lasts for at least 2 years.

Bipolar disorder This is a condition in which a person has periods of depression alternating with periods of mania or elevated mood.

Mood disorder related to another health condition Many medical illnesses (including cancer, injuries, infections, and chronic illnesses) can trigger symptoms of depression.

Substance-induced mood disorder Symptoms of depression that are due to the effects of medicine, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins, or other forms of treatment.

Depression may require long-term treatment. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.

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