Sinking Into Sadness

A Deeper Look at DEPRESSION

What is Depression?

Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, discouragement, despair, or hopelessness that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer.

Depression involves the balance of neurotransmitters, naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that can be affected by social environment, daylight, seasons, life events, and certain medical conditions.

Signs or Symptoms

  • negative feelings and mood
  • negative thinking
  • low energy and motivation
  • concentration
  • physical symptoms
  • social withdrawing

How Does Depression Affect Someone?

Depression interferes with one's ability to notice or enjoy the good things in life. It affects a person in many ways, on many levels:


  • emotions and mood: unusually sad, helpless, discouraged, unworthy, unloved, alone
  • twists way of thinking
  • physically: can cause body aches and pains



Depression can affect more than just one's mood; it drains energy, motivation, and concentration.

Other Names or Forms

There are no other names or forms of depression.

However, there is a related mental illness: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In the winter, when there's less light, people might have this kind of depression.

How Is Depression Diagnosed?

Doctors look for health conditions that could be causing symptoms of depression, like hypothyroidism and mono. They both can make a person feel depressed and tired.

Doctors can help someone get the right treatment if they find out that another condition is causing symptoms of depression.

How Is Depression Treated?

Depression is treated by mental health professionals--psychologists, psychiatrists, and other therapists who can evaluate, diagnose, and create a treatment plan for depression.


Treatment might include:

  • talk therapy
  • medication
  • combination of above
  • daily exercise
  • exposure to sunlight
  • relaxation skills for better sleep

Therapists help people:

  • understand their emotions, put feelings into words, feel understood and supported
  • work out problems and overcome negative thinking patterns
  • develop more optimism, increase self-esteem, become more accepting of themselves
  • build confidence to deal with life's struggles

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Interesting Facts

Depression can go unrecognized.


Other people take it the wrong way and think that those with depression are failures, bad students/people, quitters, slackers, or losers.

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