Alberto says: 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.
Depressed people can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless.
They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems may also be present.
Depressed mood is not always a psychiatric disorder. It may also be a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a primary or associated feature of certain psychiatric syndromes such as clinical depression.
Life events and changes that may precipitate depressed mood include childbirth, menopause, financial difficulties, job problems, a medical diagnosis (cancer, HIV, etc.), bullying, loss of a loved one, natural disasters, social isolation, relationship troubles, jealousy, separation, and catastrophic injury.
Traumatizing events that took place in childhood can cause depression. Although childhood trauma and particularly child sex abuse is not always a factor of adulthood depression, it may create psychological pathways that can lead to depression. Research has been done in this field to demonstrate the chemical involvements explaining this phenomenon.
Depressed mood may not require any professional treatment, and may be a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments.
A prolonged depressed mood, especially in combination with other symptoms, may lead to a diagnosis of a psychiatric or medical condition, which may benefit from treatment.
Different sub-divisions of depression have different treatment approaches.