What is Depression?

Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder. Depression is not just a feeling of sadness when there are life events that warrant it. Depression features symptoms like a depressed mood, lethargy, increase in a need for sleep, dissatisfaction, anxiety, a sense of hopelessness, change in appetite, irritability, sense of worthlessness, pessimism, irritability, persistent sadness, and suicidal thoughts/ideation. Often these symptoms manifest seemingly for no reason.

There are some unique forms of depression. These include persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymia, in which depressive symptoms last for two or more years; perinatal depression, in which depressive symptoms manifest during or after pregnancy; psychotic depression, which includes symptoms of psychosis like delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations; and seasonal affective disorder, in which symptoms usually manifest as the seasons change to fall and winter, and then lift for spring and summer.

If you believe that you or a loved one may have clinical depression please take this free, anonymous, online screening

For more information about depression visit Mental Health America’s website

This page was produced in partnership with the Plantory AmeriCorps VISTA network and Mental Health America of Kentucky.

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