All Topics

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

More Posts
Blog Posts
  • Sep 15, 2017
Telepsychiatry: Advances and Challenges

The use of telepsychiatry is increasing in the primary care settings, including pediatrician’s offices, and in schools where psychiatrists or other mental health professionals can collaborate with teachers and other school staff.

  • Sep 14, 2017
Losing a Sibling to Suicide

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time for mental health advocates and professionals, survivors, allies and community members to raise awareness, share resources and work to prevent suicide.

  • Sep 05, 2017
National Recovery Month 2017: Focusing on Access to Care in Rural Areas

September is National Recovery Month, sponsored annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Recovery Month is intended to raise awareness of mental health and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

Upcoming Events
Sep
2017
01

Active Minds

Sep
2017
01
Support Group Locator
  • Fri,  Sep  01 - Sat,  Sep  30

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Sep
2017
01
Recovery Month
  • Fri,  Sep  01 - Sat,  Sep  30

SAMHSA

Sep
2017
01

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Sep
2017
01
Find a NAMI Family Support Group
  • Fri,  Sep  01 - Sat,  Sep  30

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Sep
2017
10
National Suicide Prevention Week
  • Sun,  Sep  10 - Sat,  Sep  16

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Sep
2017
10

International Association for Suicide Prevention

Sep
2017
12

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Oct
2017
01
Mental Illness Awareness Week
  • Sun,  Oct  01 - Sat,  Oct  07

National Alliance on Mental Illness

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. 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

What do I need to tell my doctor when discussing my feelings of depression?

Total openness is important. You should talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms, important milestones in your life and any history of abuse or trauma. Also tell your doctor about past history of depression or other emotional symptoms in yourself or family members, medical history, medications you are taking — prescribed or over-the-counter, how depression has affected your daily life and whether you ever think about suicide. More

ajg-expert.jpg

About the Expert:

Alan Gelenberg, M.D.
Chair of Department of Psychiatry
Penn State University, College of Medicine

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Learn about Seasonal Affective Disorder, including symptoms, risk factors and treatment options.

Learn More

Trish’s Story

51-yo-Female.jpg

Trish was a 51-year-old woman 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 four months before. During that time, she reported depression every day for most of the day. Symptoms had been getting worse for months. More

Have a Story of Your Own to Share?

Editor's Choice

AUG 8, 2017

Your Instagram feed may reveal if you have depression, study finds

ABC News

Your Instagram feed may be better at recognizing signs of depression than your doctor, according to a study from researchers at Harvard University and the University of Vermont.

Researchers used a machine learning computer program to analyze 43,950 Instagram photos from 166 participants. They found that the computer's analysis of Instagram feeds was better at diagnosing depression than a general practitioner.

AUG 7, 2017

Study shows yoga twice a week improves symptoms of depression

WNDU TV

Depression affects 15 million adults during a given year. But now, a new way to treat depression may have some patients heading to a yoga studio. A first of its kind study shows symptoms of depression improved significantly once patients committed to yoga just twice a week.

AUG 6, 2017

The Spectrum: Finding beauty in my depression

The Daily Northwestern

I feel compelled to write about my experience with depression — partly because reflecting on it is cathartic, but mostly because I want to focus on a part of mental illness that is often passed over: beauty. I have found such unexpected beauty in this hellish journey of mine. To others struggling with mental illness, to those who may right now feel totally hopeless: please believe that our scarred minds have a beauty of their own.

Resources

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


Mental Health America


National Alliance on Mental Illness


National Institute on Mental Health

Physician Review By:

Ranna Parekh, M.D., M.P.H.
January 2017