Depression: An Overview

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Depression: An overview Depression is more than feeling sad or 'blue' for a few days. It is a serious mental illness that can have grave consequences for the sufferer and his or her family. Depression is classified as a mood disorder, and a careful diagnosis is required for appropriate treatment. Depression can be treated effectively with psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of these different approaches and the sooner the patient receives treatment, the better the outlook. The two major forms of depression are classified as major depression or dysthymia. Major depression involves a complete loss of functionality on the part of the patient. The patient has trouble sleeping and eating and engaging in the normal activities of his or her life, like working and going to school. The patient has a persistent sense that life is not worth living and cannot take pleasure in the things he or she used to enjoy. Dysthymia is a less disabling form or major depression in which the patient can get through the tasks of daily life but feels little joy and a persistent sense of sadness (Depression, 2012, NIMH: 2-3). However, it is important to note that the symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Adolescents may 'act out' in anger when they are depressed, rather than show the traditional listlessness and lack of affect that characterizes depressed adults (Depression, 2012, NIMH: 9). Some people may want to eat more and sleep more when depressed while others may lose
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