Synonyms: Major depressive disorder
Medical Specialties: Family practice, Geriatrics, Internal medicine, Psychiatry
Depression is characterized by a dejected mood and a cluster of other symptoms that persist throughout the majority of each day, in a time span of 2 weeks or more. These symptoms include five or more of the following tendencies: sleep changes, eating and appetite changes, low energy, poor concentration, agitation, slowness, thoughts of worthlessness or guilt and recurrent thoughts of suicide or death.
Depression has different meanings; the most relevant definition depends upon context. Some people use depression to refer to “having the blues,” a feeling that is fairly common and may not be part of a larger picture of major depression, a clinical diagnosis.
Major depression is a serious mental health condition, and it may be diagnosed if the depressed, sad mood persists for 2 weeks or longer. The potential symptoms of eating and appetite changes, sleep changes, low energy, poor concentration, agitation/slowness and thoughts of worthlessness or guilt tend to intensify gradually and interfere with normal daily activities.
Depression may be mild, chronic or diagnosed as a major depressive disorder. Serious depression is sometimes also called clinical depression. Treatment options include psychotherapy or talk therapy, antidepressant medication or a combination.