Depression is a disorder that affects your thoughts, moods, feelings,
behavior and even your physical health.
People used to think it was "all in your head" and that if you really
tried, you could "snap out of it" or just "get over it."
But doctors now know that depression is not a weakness, and it''s not something
you can treat on your own. Depression is a medical disorder with a biological
Sometimes a stressful life event triggers depression. Other times depression
seems to occur spontaneously with no identifiable specific cause. Depression is
much more than grieving or a bout of the blues.
Depression may occur only once in a person''s
life. Often, however, it occurs as repeated episodes over a lifetime, with
periods free of depression in between. Or it may be a chronic condition,
requiring ongoing treatment
over a lifetime.
People of all ages and races suffer from
depression. Medications are available that are generally safe and effective,
even for the most severe depression. With proper treatment,
most people with serious depression improve, often within weeks, and can return