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
  • May 11, 2017
Mental Health Month and Prevention Week: Focus on Teen Behaviors and Warning Signs

May is Mental Health Month, and the third week in May is National Prevention Week, an annual health observance focused on raising awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. You can join online to view the live kickoff event for National Prevention Week on May 15, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

  • May 09, 2017
Motivational Interviewing: Empowering People to Change

Motivational interviewing is a counseling technique to help people change behaviors. It involves “collaborative conversation to strengthen a person’s own motivation for and commitment to change.”

  • May 01, 2017
Childhood Lead Exposure Can Still Have an Impact Many Years Later

he ongoing water crisis in Flint, Mich., has brought concerns over lead poisoning back into the public’s attention, but the problem of lead exposure is not isolated to Flint. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least half a million U.S. children age 1 to 5 have elevated lead levels (above 5 micrograms per deciliter).

Upcoming Events
May
2017
15
Monthly Webinars to Calm Anxious Minds
  • Mon,  May  15 - Wed,  May  31

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

May
2017
15
Find local events and support from NAMI
  • Mon,  May  15 - Wed,  May  31

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

May
2017
15

Active Minds

May
2017
15
Support group locator
  • Mon,  May  15 - Wed,  May  31

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Jun
2017
28
NAMI National Convention
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wed,  Jun  28 - Sat,  Jul  01

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

FEB 17, 2017

Depression: Starting the conversation

KXLH Helena News

At least 50 percent of the population will meet the criteria for mental illness or depression at some point in their lives. It comes in many forms. Dr. Arzubi said in his experience with his patients it is every bit as painful, if not more so, as something physical. "It's different for everybody. For me it's all the things that I normally love doing. I love hiking. I love mountain biking. I love working out. All those things, it basically, my mind tells me that those aren't fun anymore. They're not worth it, that you should just lay down. You should just do nothing cause it's not worth it," said Nesovic, who has depression.

FEB 16, 2017

Improving Quality of Life in Depression

Medscape

Several meta-analyses have shown that psychotherapy is effective for reducing depressive symptom severity. However, the impact on quality of life is as yet unknown. A new meta-analysis of 44 randomized clinical trials comparing psychotherapy for depressed adults with a control group concluded that psychotherapy for depression does have a positive impact on the quality of life of patients with depression.

FEB 15, 2017

How depression can muddle thinking

Science Daily

Depression is associated with sadness, fatigue and a lack of motivation. But people with depression can also have trouble processing information and solving problems. Now scientists studying a rat model for depression are identifying on a molecular level how the condition could affect thinking. The findings could lead to the development of new depression treatments that would address associated cognitive problems.

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