Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. Depressive disorders are characterized by pervasive mood changes that affect all aspects of an individual's daily functioning. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood and is more than a case of persistent sadness.
Symptoms of depression also include
- feelings of worthlessness,
- lack of interest in daily activities,
- loss of energy,
- loss of appetite,
- sleep problems,
- self-loathing, and
- thoughts of suicide.
Depression can happen for unknown reasons. Depression can also be caused by medications, pregnancy, postpartum state, abuse, associated illness, chronic stress, seasonal affective disorder, and other conditions.
Symptoms of depression also include feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, lack of interest in daily activities, and even thoughts of suicide. Depression is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with a depressive disease cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Depression
Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
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Antisocial Personality Disorder
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Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment...
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens
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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
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Bullying is repeated physical or verbal aggression that involves an imbalance of power. Types of bullying include physical,...
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or SEID)
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Cocaine and Crack Abuse
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Date Rape Drugs
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Depression in Children
Childhood depression can interfere with social activities, interests, schoolwork and family life. Symptoms and signs include...
Depression in the Elderly
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Encephalopathy means brain disease, damage, or malfunction. Causes of encephalopathy are varied and numerous. The main symptom of...
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress...
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (Symptoms, Diet, Treatments, Pregnancy)
Hashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation of the thyroid gland....
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer is cancer of the oral cavity, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, or lymph...
Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
Though the holidays are a fun time for most, for others, they're a sad, lonely and anxiety-filled time. Get tips on how to avoid...
Hypothyroidism (Symptoms, Diet, Natural and Medical Treatments, Tests)
Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone...
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness, which is spread by ticks when they bite the skin. Initially the disease affects the skin...
Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under...
Migraine headaches are severe headaches that are sensitive to light, sounds, and smells. Some people who suffer from...
Misophonia is defined as the hatred of sound. Symptoms of this condition include a negative emotional response to certain trigger...
Morgellons disease is a rare condition causing delusions the sufferer has parasites under his or her skin. The disease has a...
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage...
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to suffer repeated obsessions and compulsions....
Parkinson's Disease (Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Stages, Treatment)
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest,...
Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder of the muscles and joints that causes pain and stiffness in the arms, neck, shoulders,...
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes...
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric condition, can develop after any catastrophic life event. Symptoms include...
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends...
Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include...
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Fibromyalgia
Though rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, RA is an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia is a...
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that features schizophrenia and a mood disorder, either major depression or bipolar...
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that tends to occur as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. Symptoms...
Sick Building Syndrome
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Sleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea,...
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Suicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year,...
Depression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior,...
Vitamin D Deficiency
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West Nile Virus
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Other Causes of Depression
- Serious Medical Illness
Examples of Medications for Depression
- amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
- bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban, Aplenzin, Fortivo XL, Zyban)
- buspirone, Buspar (Discontinued brand in the US)
- citalopram, Celexa
- clomipramine (Anafranil)
- desipramine, Norpramin
- fluoxetine, Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly
- fluvoxamine (Luvox and Luvox CR have been discontinued)
- gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Fanatrex FusePag) Side Effects, Dosage, and Abuse
- imipramine, Tofranil, Tofranil-PM
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- lithium, Lithobid
- methylphenidate (Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Concerta, Methylin, Methylin ER, Daytrana)
- mirtazapine, Remeron, Soltab
- nefazodone, Serzone
- nortriptyline, Pamelor, Aventyl - has been discontinued in the U.S.
- paroxetine, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva
- St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Stimulants (ADHD)
- trazodone, Desyrel (discontinued brand)
- trimipramine (Surmontil)
- venlafaxine, Effexor XR (Effexor has been discontinued in the US)
- vortioxetine (Trintellix - formerly known as Brintellix)
- Zoloft (sertraline)