Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. A depressed mood is a normal temporary reaction to life events such as loss of a loved one. It is also a symptom of some physical diseases and a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a symptom of some mood disorders such as major depressive disorder or dysthymia.

People with a depressed mood may be notably sad, anxious, or empty; they may also feel notably hopeless, helpless, dejected, or worthless. Other symptoms expressed may include senses of guilt, irritability, or anger. Further feelings expressed by these individuals may include feeling ashamed or an expressed restlessness. These individuals may notably lose interest in activities that they once considered pleasurable or experience either loss of appetite or overeating. Experiencing problems concentrating, remembering general facts or details, otherwise making decisions or experiencing relationship difficulties may also be notable factors in these individuals' depression and may also lead to their attempting or actually dying by suicide.

The difference between a depressed mood and Major Depressive Disorder is length of time, ranging from very temporary such as a day to a month, and Major Depressive Disorder which is long-term and life-impacting. The depressive mood can be overcome by lifestyle changes or conversations, whereas Major Depressive Disorder generally requires major intervention with a combination of SSRIs or Dopamine therapy and long-term psychiatric treatments.

Depression is one of the major causes or risk factors of suicide among adolescents, and more than half of the suicide victims in this age group are diagnosed with depressive orders before their demise. Depression among teenagers is also a leading cause of educational and social impairments, substance abuse, obesity, and increased risk of smoking. Expressed insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, and vocalizing general aches, pains, and digestive problems and a reduced energy may also be present in individuals experiencing depression.

In 1997, the President of Germany noted in a major speech that his country was dominated by a vast sense of discouragement, namely a crippling feeling hanging over the country. This manifested in the form of a loss of economic dynamism, a sense of rigidity of life, and an unbelievable mental depression. The underlying problem was however recognized to be a mental one.
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Date of last update
29.08.2016 – 22:16 CEST
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