So What is Depression?
It is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about him or herself, and thinks about things. Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with depression cannot merely 'pull themselves together' and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years.
Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness. Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression.
Types of Depression
There are several recognized types of depressive disorder, including major depressive disorder, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder, post-partum depression, and melancholic depression, to name a few. Below are links to information on different sub-categories of depression.