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What is Depression?

depression depression
  • What is depression?
    Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.

  • Signs and Symptoms:
  • Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you. People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.

    Symptoms of depression can include:

    • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
    • Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
    • Very difficult to concentrate
    • Fatigue and lack of energy
    • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
    • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
    • Becoming withdrawn or isolated
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
    • Thoughts of death or suicide
    • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
    • Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.
    • If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.

  • Additional Resources
    There is a wealth of information about depression and suicide on the internet. Here are some sites that may be particularly useful.

University of Denver | Genes, Environment, and Mood (GEM) Study | Phone: 303-871-6828 | Email: gemlab@psy.du.edu