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

  • Sep 20, 2018
Loneliness and Social Isolation Can be a Concern at Any Age

Social isolation and loneliness are common and concerning, and not just for older adults, according to a new international survey from Kaiser Family Foundation and The Economist. Overall more than one in five adults in the U.S. reported that they often or always feel lonely, feel they lack companionship or feel left out or isolated from others. Among adults 18 to 49, 24 percent reported experiencing loneliness compared to 20 percent of adults 50 and over. People with mental illness were much more likely to feel lonely (47 percent).

  • Aug 22, 2018
Heat Waves Contribute to Poorer Mental Health and Increase in Suicides

Heat waves leave most of us a bit cranky and uncomfortable. They can also have serious health consequences, including for mental health. New research is shedding light on heat’s impact on mental health and on suicide rates. People with existing mental illnesses are particularly vulnerable to problems associated with long periods of high temperatures.

  • Jul 27, 2018
Inflammation and Depression: Complicated Connections

Growing evidence shows an association between depression and inflammation. But the connections are complex and not well understood. Understanding these links is important because it could lead to better depression treatment, especially for the many people who don’t respond to traditional treatments.

Upcoming Events
Jun
2018
14
Mental Health America Annual Conference
  • Washington, DC
  • Thur,  Jun  14 - Sat,  Jun  16
  • 10:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Jun
2018
27
NAMI National Convention
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Wed,  Jun  27 - Sat,  Jun  30
  • 10:15 AM - 10:15 AM
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

JULY 23, 2018

Could Depression Be An Immune Response To Stress? A New Study Suggests An Answer

Forbes

Science is gradually piecing together the vexing brain puzzle that connects depression and inflammation, and an important new piece just fell into place. Researchers using a mouse model have discovered how stress triggers an immune response in the brain that leads to inflammation and ultimately depression – and the implications for humans could eventually be big.

JULY 20, 2018

Greening vacant lots reduces feelings of depression in city dwellers

Science Daily

Revitalizing dilapidated environments may be an important, inexpensive tool to address mental health in urban communities. Greening vacant urban land significantly reduces feelings of depression and improves overall mental health for the surrounding residents, researchers show in a new randomized, controlled study. The findings have implications for cities across the United States, where 15 percent of land is deemed ''vacant'' and often blighted or filled with trash and overgrown vegetation.

JULY 18, 2018

Is you office the culprit behind our depression?

TheHealthsite.com

We are living in an age where our office is our second home. We spend about a quarter of our life, staring at the screen or looking at our colleagues. Depression at workplace caused due to the stress in office or favouritism isn't a very new concept. Most of us, have heard of it or experienced it. However, in recent times, with depression and harassment being discussed openly, we must understand how to safeguard mental peace at work.

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