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

  • Nov 14, 2018
The Right Amount of Sleep for Your Best Reasoning, Problem-solving and Communication

Getting enough sleep is one of the main keys to good health, along with good nutrition and exercise, yet most of us do not get enough of it. In one national survey, nearly 30 percent of respondents reported getting less than an average of six hours of sleep per night. A new study looks specifically at the impact of sleep on cognitive ability.

  • Nov 13, 2018
World Kindness Day

On this World Kindness Day, Nov. 13, 2018, we take a look at some of the research showing how engaging in acts of kindness can benefit well-being. Engaging in acts of kindness is not only a good thing to do, but can actually help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, can improve workplace well-being, can be more beneficial to well-being than self-oriented actions, can reduce anxiety for socially anxious people, and can prompt others to engage in acts of kindness.

  • Nov 09, 2018
Pregnancy-Related Depression

Over the past few decades, a robust national conversation has been taking place about postpartum depression. We have paid less attention, however, to another equally important time when a woman is also more vulnerable to depression and anxiety disorders: pregnancy. A significant percentage of women—one out of seven to 10—will develop pregnancy-associated depression, with a slightly higher incidence in women from lower socioeconomic groups.

Upcoming Events
Oct
2018
01
Find campus based events and support from Active Minds
  • Mon,  Oct  01 - Wed,  Oct  31
  • 10:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Active Minds

Oct
2018
01
Support Group Locator
  • Mon,  Oct  01 - Wed,  Oct  31
  • 10:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Oct
2018
01
Family to Family Training – Find a Local Training
  • Mon,  Oct  01 - Sat,  Mar  31
  • 10:15 AM - 10:15 AM

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Oct
2018
01
Find a NAMI Family Support Group
  • Mon,  Oct  01 - Wed,  Oct  31
  • 10:15 AM - 10:15 AM

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

51-yo-Female.jpg

Trish’s Story

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.

Read More

Have a Story of Your Own to Share?

Editor's Choice

Oct 5, 2018

Could Depression is agony. Just ask Jason Kander -- or me.

Washington Post

I don’t know much about Jason Kander, except what I read about him in the news. A former Army intelligence officer and Afghanistan veteran. First millennial to win a statewide office when he was elected Missouri secretary of state in 2012. Up-and-coming Democratic Party leader. This week, Kander abandoned his campaign to become mayor of Kansas City, Mo., citing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression that he traces to his tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had a hole inside that he was hiding from himself and the world, he said. To his credit, he faced up to a problem that he did not bring on himself.

OCT 3, 2018

Opioid overdoses, depresssion linked

Science Daily

Data on depression was collected by a telephone survey of more than 400,000 people across the country. A 1 percent increase in statewide depression diagnoses was associated with a 26 percent increase in opioid-related deaths. Rates of opioid-related deaths rose substantially in 2014 and 2015, and states with the highest rates of opioid-related deaths often have a shortage of mental health care professionals.

SEPT 30, 2018

AI Can Identify Depression Based on  a Natural Conversation

Forbes

Depression is all too prevalent in the U.S. and gone untreated can result in some very negative consequences. In the recent year we have seen some tragic consequences of depression, so finding a way to combat it on a global level is of great significance. No one is immune to depression, although some people may be more predisposed to it than others, depression is a condition that can affect anyone in some point of their life. Although it is a condition of the mind, depression is also often accompanied by physical symptoms such as fatigue, inability to focus or perform tasks that were easy before.

Resources

Additional Resources and Organizations

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Mental Health America

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute on Mental Health

Physician Reviewed

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