Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
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 in Children and Teens
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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
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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
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Depression in the Elderly
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Head and Neck Cancer
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Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
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Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone...
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Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under...
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Misophonia is defined as the hatred of sound. Symptoms of this condition include a negative emotional response to certain trigger...
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Multiple Sclerosis (MS Symptoms, Causes, and 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)
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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
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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
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Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include...
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Fibromyalgia
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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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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,...
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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)
Get tips on therapy and treatment.