Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way an individual eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and about things.

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Depression is related to physical changes in the brain, caused by an imbalance of a type of chemical that carries signals in your brain and nerves. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.

There are three main types of depression. Major depression, it involves a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once enjoyable activities. A less severe type of depression is dysthymia which involves long-term, chronic symptoms keep a person from functioning well or from feeling good, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes. Some symptoms of depression are: Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, decreased energy, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions, thoughts of death or suicide.

Women are at a higher risk of becoming depressed; this may be due to hormonal changes brought on by puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. Men are comparatively at a lower risk of getting depressed but are more likely to be angry and hostile or to hide their condition with alcohol or drug abuse. Suicide is an especially serious risk for men with depression, who are four times more likely than women to kill themselves. Elderly mostly suffer from depression; they may have lost loved ones and have to adjust to living alone. They may become physically ill and unable to be as active as they once were. All these factors contribute to depression.

Other sources of information for these topics.

Welcome to
Facts about depression, including how to manage it and how to live with this medical condition.

NIMH: Depression
... "talk" or interpersonal that ease the pain of depression. Unfortunately, many
people do not recognize that depression is a treatable illness. ...

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