Depression News

Depression is a sustained mental state that leaves people feeling so sad and in despair that it affects their daily life. Feeling sad or down from time to time is a completely normal part of life, but when that sadness is so extreme or long-lasting that it impacts your life as well as the lives of those around you, you might have depression.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms of depression go beyond mere sadness. They often include feelings of hopelessness, guilt, pessimism and other negative thoughts that are so severe that they affect the person's interaction with others. People with depression also shun activities that were once interesting or pleasurable to them, such as hobbies or sex. They may have fatigue, lack of energy and oversleep. Or, they might have insomnia and be anxious and irritable. The symptoms may even manifest themselves physically in the form of aches, pains, cramps or digestive problems.

When the symptoms last for at least two weeks and are obvious but not severe, this is usually considered minor depression. If the depression progresses to the point where it's disabling and affecting the person’s ability to function normally, it's considered major depressive disorder. There are other forms of depression as well, including postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder and depression related to dysthymic disorder or bipolar disorder.

Causes of Depression

Everyone is at risk for depression. It affects about 25 million Americans, or 5 to 8 percent of the population. But it does occur 70 percent more often in women than in men. The reasons why are complex, but it's probably due to a combination of family history, issues in a person’s life and biological or psychological factors.

Treatment

Everyone with depression, even minor depression, can benefit from treatment. Several medications can help with symptoms, and most people with depression can also benefit from some form of counseling with a trained therapist. Usually, some combination of the two approaches is used to treat depression.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institute of Mental Health; National Alliance on Mental Illness

Date Posted
Article Title
6/29/2017
Alternative Treatment for Depression

Noninvasive brain stimulation no better than medication in treating depression, study finds.

6/28/2017
Electric Brain Stimulation No Better Than Meds For Depression: Study

Novel treatment may need to be tailored to each patient, mental health expert says

6/28/2017
Poor Sleep May Worsen Suicidal Thoughts

Treating insomnia might help improve emotional well-being, researchers suggest

6/28/2017
Popular Heartburn Meds Don't Raise Alzheimer's Risk: Study

New research debunks other studies suggesting that medications used to treat ulcers, reflux cause mental decline

6/21/2017
Depressed Back Pain Patients Often Get Opioids

Study finds they are also more apt to get higher doses of the highly addictive painkillers

6/21/2017
Suicide Risk Especially High for U.S. Farmers

Other occupations have lower rates, study says

6/12/2017
Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness

More than a third aren't getting help, federal study says

6/9/2017
Depression Can Slow Hospital Patients' Recovery: Study

Screening for the mood disorder is important for successful healing, psychiatrist says

6/7/2017
Antidepressants During Pregnancy Safe for Baby: Study

It finds newborns aren't more likely to be irritable, hard to feed or sleepless

6/6/2017
Chronic Pain Common in Adults With Depression, Anxiety

Study finds the double whammy is a significant and growing health problem

6/2/2017
What You Need to Know About Antidepressants

They work by affecting brain chemicals that regulate mood, FDA explains

6/2/2017
Conquering One Big Cancer Side Effect: Fear

Three new therapy programs provide much-needed psychological support, researchers report

6/1/2017
Can Online Treatment Replace Your Therapist?

For people with mild or moderate depression, web-based versions might help, study finds

5/31/2017
Suicide Risk Is High for Psychiatric Patients Long After Discharge From Care

Monitoring by doctors, family and friends is crucial, researchers and experts say

5/30/2017
Transgender People Report More Health Problems

Disparities can't be explained by lower income, other factors, researcher says

5/26/2017
Depression Often a Precursor to Falls in Elderly People

But study found proper dose of psychiatric drugs might erase that danger

5/25/2017
Autism's 'Worryingly' High Suicide Rates Spur Conference

Signs of depression may differ from those seen in general population, researcher says

5/23/2017
Suicide Risk Quadruples After Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Doctors, loved ones need to be on the lookout for distress and depression, cancer specialist says

5/19/2017
Heavy Kids Face Triple the Odds for Depression in Adulthood

Risk was 4 times greater if they were also overweight as adults, study finds

5/12/2017
Could Tai Chi Ease Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors?

Study found it as effective as talk therapy for improving sleep and depression

5/8/2017
Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High School

Victims may develop depression, fueling risky behaviors, study suggests

5/7/2017
After Suicide Attempt, a Phone Call Could Save a Life

Simple follow-up can prevent a future try, study shows

5/3/2017
Are Smartphones Helping or Harming Kids' Mental Health?

More use is linked to attention and behavior problems, but also less anxiety, study finds

5/2/2017
Depression's Gender Gap Shows Up in Pre-Teen Years

Still unclear why more women than men affected by the disorder, researcher says

5/2/2017
Mental Health Myths Abound in the U.S.

For instance, survey finds less than half can recognize anxiety

4/27/2017
Opioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study

Researchers conclude that use of the painkillers is 'an American problem,' not a VA problem

4/18/2017
Studies Question Link Between Mom's Antidepressant Use, Autism in Kids

After accounting for other factors that raise chances of the disorder, the increased risk disappeared

4/17/2017
Just 1 in 5 Mentally Ill Women Gets Cervical Cancer Screenings

Rates of the disease tend to be higher in this group, researcher says

4/17/2017
Anxious? Distressed? You're Not Alone

And about 1 in 10 Americans who need mental health care don't have the insurance coverage, study finds

4/10/2017
These 5 Life Skills Can Boost Your Odds of Well-Being

People with these traits more likely to be healthier, less lonely and more financially stable, study finds

4/10/2017
Past Psychiatric Ills Don't Raise Alzheimer's Risk: Study

But more recent symptoms may be part of the disease

4/6/2017
For Some, Too Much Sweat Takes Emotional Toll

Those who perspire excessively may have hyperhidrosis

4/5/2017
Good Sleep Does Get Tougher With Age

Review suggests many seniors struggle to get deep, restorative slumber, adding to health problems

4/5/2017
The Highs and Lows of Teens' Instagram Use

For some it leads to closer bonds with friends, for others a greater risk of depression, study found

3/30/2017
Climate Change May Cloud Americans' Mental Health: Report

Projected weather-related disasters will fuel anxiety, depression, psychologists' group warns

3/29/2017
Trauma as a Teen May Boost Depression Risk Around Menopause

Likelihood was more than twice as high, study reports

3/22/2017
Suicide Often Leaves Mental, Physical Woes in Surviving Spouse

Rates of PTSD and depression are higher, but so too are liver problems and back pain, study finds

3/20/2017
Drugs for Prostate Trouble, Balding Not Linked to Suicide Risk

However, medications like Propecia, Proscar may be tied to depression, study finds

3/16/2017
Treating Postpartum Blues

A special combination of dietary supplements may lower risk of postpartum depression, study finds.

3/14/2017
Blood Test Might Someday Distinguish Early Depression, Schizophrenia

A screen is still in development stages but could be important, especially for adolescents, experts say

3/13/2017
Can Supplements Ward Off the 'Baby Blues'?

Researchers look to nutrients to offset temporary brain-chemical changes in new mothers

3/10/2017
Sinus Trouble Can Lead to Depression, Lost Work

For people with chronic nasal problems, mood is key reason for calling in sick, study finds

3/9/2017
Hold That Pose: Yoga May Ease Tough Depression

Study finds weekly sessions, plus deep breathing, helped ease cases when medications failed

3/8/2017
Depression May Hasten Death in Years After Heart Diagnosis

Mental health screening recommended over the long term, study suggests

2/24/2017
Can Depression Up Odds for Arthritis Linked to Psoriasis?

Mood disorder may increase inflammation throughout the body, researcher says

2/23/2017
Study Links Psychiatric Disorders to Stroke Risk

Mental health woes may trigger chronic fight-or-flight response, researchers suggest

2/22/2017
Bleeding Strokes Take Heavy Toll on Brain

Study found increased risk of dementia, depression in five years following brain attack

2/22/2017
After Stroke, 'Blue' Light May Help Beat the Blues

Akin to sunlight, it could ward off depression during rehab, study finds

2/16/2017
Hey Fellas, Depression Can Strike New Dads, Too

Men who are stressed or in poor health seem to be at special risk, study shows

2/16/2017
Dealing With Diabetes Distress

The blood sugar disease often comes with enormous mental and emotional strains, specialists say