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When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning and causes pain for the person who has the disorder as well as for those people around the person.
Symptoms may include:
  • persistent sad or anxious feelings
  • feelings of hopelessness or emptiness
  • feelings of guilt or helplessness
  • diminished interest or pleasure in many or all daily activities
  • fatigue and decreased energy
  • difficulty concentrating and remembering details
  • insomnia or early morning waking
  • excessive sleeping
  • thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • persistent aches or pains
  • headaches
Treatment may include:
  • medication
  • psychotherapy
  • electroconvulsive therapy
Types of depression include:
  • major depressive disorder - also called major depression, characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to eat, sleep, work, study and enjoy previously enjoyable activities.  Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally.
  • dysthymic disorder - also called dysthymia, characterized by long term but less severe symptoms that may prevent a person from functioning normally or feeling well, but it is not usually disabling.
  • postpartum depression - diagnosed is a mother develops a major depressive episode within 1 month of delivering a baby.
  • seasonal affective disorder - characterized by the onset of a depressive illness during winter months, when there is less natural sunlight.
  • bipolar disorder - also called manic-depressive disorder, characterized by mood swings from extreme highs to extreme lows.
  • psychiatry

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