Depression: Overview

Depression occurs when someone has feelings such as sadness, unhappiness or misery for an extended period of time. Most people feel this way at some time in their lives for a little while, but when it continues for a longer time and interferes with everyday life and the enjoyment of life, then a diagnosis of clinical depression by a qualified professional may be appropriate. There are various types of depression including bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, major depression, dysthymia, adolescent depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression in the elderly.

Depression does have a tendency to run in families possibly either because of a genetic predisposition that is inherited, and/or from behavior patterns that are learned from family members. Depression is often triggered by a stressful or sad event. Depression seems to occur more frequently in women, though this may simply appear this way because women tend to be more likely to see a doctor about their symptoms.

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