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Help With Depression

Curated and updated for the community by APA

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable.

See definition, symptoms, & treatment

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  • Oct 01, 2015
Walks and Events to Raise Awareness: Many Opportunities to Show Your Support

October is filled with opportunities across the country to join with others in raising awareness and support for a variety of mental health and substance use causes.

  • Sep 18, 2015
Semicolon Becomes a Symbol of Hope

A growing movement is using the semicolon, and in particular a semicolon tattoo, as a symbol of hope for people with mental illness.

  • Sep 10, 2015
New Research Aims to Help Prevent Suicides

Some recent research shows promise in helping to prevent the tragedy of suicide and reversing an upward trend.

What is the difference between normal sadness or grieving and depression?

Everyone experiences a range of emotions over the course of days and weeks, typically varying based on events and circumstances. When disappointed, we usually feel sad. When we suffer a loss, we grieve. Normally these feelings ebb and flow. They respond to input and changes. By contrast, depression tends to feel heavy and constant. People who are depressed are less likely to be cheered, comforted, or consoled. People who recover from depression often welcome the ability to feel normal sadness again, to have a “bad day,” as opposed to a leaden weight on their minds and souls every single day. More

Once a person has been diagnosed and treated for depression, is it likely to return?

Of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder, who are treated and recover, at least half are likely to experience a recurrent episode sometime in their future. It may come soon after or not for many years. It may or may not be triggered by a life event. After several episodes of major depression, a psychiatrist may suggest long-term treatment. What kinds of treatments work for depression? More

What kinds of treatments work for depression?

A wide variety of treatments have been proven effective in treating depression. Some involve talking and behavioral change. Others involve taking medications. There are also techniques that focus on neuromodulation, which incorporates electrical, magnetic, or other forms of energy to stimulate brain pathways. Examples of neuromodulation include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), vagus-nerve stimulation (VNS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and the experimental deep-brain stimulation (DBS).

The choice of therapy should be guided by the nature and severity of depression, past responses to treatment, and the patient’s and family’s beliefs and preferences. Whatever approach is selected, the patient should be a willing and actively participate, engaging in psychotherapy or regularly taking the medication, for example. More

Trish's Story


Trish was a 51-year-oldwoman who was brought to the emergency room by her husband. She said, “I feel like killing myself.” She had lost her interest in life about 4 months before. During that time, she reported depression every day for most of the day. Symptoms had been getting worse for months. More

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  • August 13, 2015

It’s a Man Thing: 4 Tips for Helping Men Better Deal with Depression

Men may not be quick to recognize when they are depressed, which can make screening even more important. More

  • August 12, 2015

Is Depression Something You're Born With? 5 Scientific Facts About What Makes Us Become Depressed

Why do some of us spend our lives grappling with chronic depression, while others never have a single depressive episode? With nearly 10 percent of Americans suffering from a depressive episode in any given year, depression is one of the most common mental disorders, and many of us assume that, like many chronic illnesses, it must be transmitted through our genes. More