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
8/22/2017
Close Friendships in High School Make for Happier Adults

Meanwhile, popular kids may end up with more anxiety later, study suggests

8/21/2017
Are Depressed Teens Prone to Violence?

Study findings underscore need for early treatment, researcher says

8/15/2017
U.S. Antidepressant Use Jumps 65 Percent in 15 Years

Women nearly twice as likely to use the drugs as men, CDC report finds

8/14/2017
Smoking on the Rise Among Pregnant Women With Depression

More than 1 in 3 smoke, compared to 1 in 10 who aren't depressed, U.S. survey finds

8/8/2017
Instagram Photos May Offer Snapshot of Mental Health

Social media posts seem to give clues to presence of depression, researchers say

8/3/2017
Yoga May Help Ease Depression

It's not a cure-all but has great potential, leader of an American Psychological Association panel says

8/1/2017
Need to Calm Down? Try Talking to Yourself

Brain scans suggest referring to yourself in third person helps keep emotions in check

7/31/2017
Netflix Series '13 Reasons Why' Sparks Uptick in Google Searches for Suicide

The news wasn't all bad, since some looked for suicide prevention, study found

7/28/2017
Too Soon to Widely Recommend Ketamine for Depression

Not enough is known about the drug's long-term effects, research review concludes

7/21/2017
Estrogen May Influence Women's Depression Risk

Early menstruation, more frequent periods seem to make sad times less likely, researchers suggest

7/20/2017
Antidepressants in Pregnancy Tied to Slight Increase in Autism

But difference in risk is quite small, experts say

7/19/2017
Losing Medicaid Tough on People Battling Depression: Study

Breaks in coverage result in more ER visits and longer hospital stays, research finds

7/12/2017
No Sign That Antidepressants in Pregnancy Harm Kids' Brains: Study

Large Swedish study found no link between mom's use of the drugs and kid's intellectual disability

7/11/2017
Med Switch Not Always Best Choice With Tough Depression

Adding an antipsychotic or a second antidepressant may produce better results, researchers say

7/5/2017
Half of Opioid Prescriptions Go to People With Mental Illness

Those with psychological conditions more likely to overdose or have other problems tied to painkillers

6/29/2017
Concussion in High School Doesn't Boost Depression Risk: Study

And another study found no long-term decline in quality of life after these head injuries

6/29/2017
Depression May Worsen Health for Cancer Caregivers

Identifying signs early on might help protect these loved ones, study suggests

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