The Depression reference article from the Simple Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Depression (also called unipolar depression or clinical depression) is a mood disorder in which someone has sad feelings, and a loss of interest in life, and when these feelings do not go away.

Many people feel sad, discouraged, or "down" once in a while, but for some people, this mood does not go away. When these problems last two weeks or more, and are so bad that they get in the way of daily living, this is depression.

Table of contents
1 How common depression is
2 Signs and symptoms
3 Types of depression
4 Causes of depression
5 Treatment
6 See also
7 External links
8 Books

How common depression is

Ten percent of people have depression at some time in their lives.

Depression happens most often in people between the ages of 24 and 44 years.

About two times as many women as men have depression

Signs and symptoms

The DSM-IV-TR says that the two main parts of depression are:

Adults with depression often have:

Depression in children is harder to notice; signs a child may have depression include: In older children and adolescents (teenagers), another sign may be the use of drugs or alcohol.

Most people who have not had depression to not completely understand its effects. Instead, they see it as simply being sad. Since it is not understood, many people with depression are criticized by others for not helping themselves.

Depression is a syndrome of many symptoms that relate to each other, and is not just sad feeling. Medical measurements have shown that there are big changes in the chemicals in the brain, and that the whole brain slows down during depression.

Depression that is not treated gets worse. Depression often leads to suicide.

Types of depression

Major depression is also called to as major depressive disorder or biochemical, clinical, endogenous, or biological depression.

There are many subtypes of depression:

Major depression may also be called unipolar affective disorder.

Causes of depression

No one cause for depression has been found, but there are some things that can be involved.

These things can cause depression, or make it worse:


The ways of treating depression are different for each person. Many times, many different kinds of treatment are tried.


Medication which can help the symptoms of depression has existed for several decades.

Tricyclic antidepressants are the oldest kind of medicine for depression. They are not used much now, because they do not work well, and they have many bad side-effects.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may be used if other antidepressant medications do not work well. This kind of medicine can cause problems with many kinds of food and drugs.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are now the most commonly used family of antidepressant medicine. These drugs work by allowing the brain to have more serotonin. There are few side-effects with this kind of drug.

Sometimes, antidepressant medicine works better when it is used together with another drug that is not an antidepressant. These "augmentor" drugs are:

Tranquillizers and sedatives, may be used to ease anxiety (worries) and help sleep.

Antipsychotics are used to keep mood from changing.

Lithium is often used for bipolar disorder, but also can help people with depression.

If someone with depression does no take their medicine the right way, they can relapse. It can cause the depression to get worse. If someone with depression wants to change their medication, or stop using it, they should do so with help from a doctor.


In psychotherapy, someone with depression is helped to understand and solve the problems with depression.

Psychotherapy can help a person make changes in thought, help with relationship problems, find and fix relapses, and understand what makes depression worse.

Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy, also called electroshock therapy, shock therapy, or ECT uses a small amount of electricity to cause an artificial epileptic seizure while the patient is sedated.

See also

External links