|Lithograph of a man diagnosed as suffering from melancholia with strong suicidal tendency (1892)|
|Classification and external resources|
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. A depressed mood is a normal temporary reaction to life events such as loss of a loved one. It is also a symptom of some physical diseases and a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a symptom of some mood disorders such as major depressive disorder and dysthymia.
People with a depressed mood may be notably sad, anxious, or empty; they may also feel notably hopeless, helpless, dejected, or worthless. Other symptoms expressed may include senses of guilt, irritability, or anger. Further feelings expressed by these individuals may include feeling ashamed or an expressed restlessness. These individuals may notably lose interest in activities that they once considered pleasurable to family and friends or otherwise experience either a loss of appetite or overeating. Experiencing problems concentrating, remembering general facts or details, otherwise making decisions or experiencing relationship difficulties may also be notable factors in these individuals' depression and may also lead to their attempting or actually committing suicide.
Adversity in childhood, such as bereavement, neglect, mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and unequal parental treatment of siblings can contribute to depression in adulthood. Childhood physical or sexual abuse in particular significantly correlates with the likelihood of experiencing depression over the life course.
Life events and changes that may precipitate depressed mood include childbirth, menopause, financial difficulties, unemployment, work stress, a medical diagnosis (cancer, HIV, etc.), bullying, loss of a loved one, natural disasters, social isolation, rape, relationship troubles, jealousy, separation, and catastrophic injury. Adolescents may be especially prone to experiencing depressed mood following social rejection, peer pressure and bullying.
High scores on the personality domain neuroticism make the development of depressive symptoms as well as all kinds of depression diagnoses more likely, and depression is associated with low extraversion.
Depression may also be iatrogenic (the result of healthcare), such as drug induced depression. Therapies associated with depression include interferon therapy, beta-blockers, Isotretinoin, contraceptives, cardiac agents, anticonvulsants, antimigraine drugs, antipsychotics, and hormonal agents such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist.
Several drugs of abuse can cause or exacerbate depression, whether in intoxication, withdrawal, and from chronic use. These include alcohol, sedatives (including prescription benzodiazepines), opioids (including prescription pain killers and illicit drugs such as heroin), stimulants (such as cocaine and amphetamines), hallucinogens, and inhalants.
Depressed mood can be the result of a number of infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies, neurological conditions and physiological problems, including hypoandrogenism (in men), Addison's disease, Cushing's syndrome, hypothyroidism, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, stroke,diabetes, and cancer.
A number of psychiatric syndromes feature depressed mood as a main symptom. The mood disorders are a group of disorders considered to be primary disturbances of mood. These include major depressive disorder (MDD; commonly called major depression or clinical depression) where a person has at least two weeks of depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities; and dysthymia, a state of chronic depressed mood, the symptoms of which do not meet the severity of a major depressive episode. Another mood disorder, bipolar disorder, features one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood, cognition and energy levels, but may also involve one or more episodes of depression. When the course of depressive episodes follows a seasonal pattern, the disorder (major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, etc.) may be described as a seasonal affective disorder. Outside the mood disorders: borderline personality disorder often features an extremely intense depressive mood; adjustment disorder with depressed mood is a mood disturbance appearing as a psychological response to an identifiable event or stressor, in which the resulting emotional or behavioral symptoms are significant but do not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode;:355 and posttraumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder that sometimes follows trauma, is commonly accompanied by depressed mood. Depression is sometimes associated with substance use disorder. Both legal and illegal drugs can cause substance use disorder.
Questionnaires and checklists such as the Beck Depression Inventory or the Children's Depression Inventory can be used by a mental health provider to help detect, and assess the severity of depression. The Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire can be used to screen for seasonal affective disorder. Semi structured interviews such as the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (KSADS) and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) are used for diagnostic confirmation of depression.
Depressed mood may not require professional treatment, and may be a normal temporary reaction to life events, a symptom of some medical condition, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments. A prolonged depressed mood, especially in combination with other symptoms, may lead to a diagnosis of a psychiatric or medical condition which may benefit from treatment. Different sub-divisions of depression have different treatment approaches. In the United States, it has been estimated that two thirds of people with depression do not actively seek treatment. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that by 2030, depression will account for the highest level of disability accorded any physical or mental disorder in the world (WHO, 2008).
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2009 guidelines indicate that antidepressants should not be routinely used for the initial treatment of mild depression, because the risk-benefit ratio is poor. A recent meta-analysis also indicated that most antidepressants, besides fluoxetine, do not seem to offer a clear advantage for children and adolescents in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder.
Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters