Depression FAQ

Learn more about depression: what it is, what causes it, and how to get help

What is depression?

Depression is an illness that affects the body, mood, and thoughts. People who are depressed may feel hopeless, worthless, very sad, and have no energy or interest in doing anything. Some people describe depression as an "empty, or sad feeling that won't go away." This kind of depression that does not go away is called "clinical depression." It is different from feeling "blue" or down for a few hours or a couple of days.


What causes depression?

Many things cause depression. Depression can run in families. Changes in your brain chemistry and living through painful and difficult events in your life can cause depression. Sometimes depression is caused by certain medications people take for cancer, arthritis, heart problems, and high blood pressure. Some illnesses such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, and hormonal problems can cause depression.


What are the signs of depression?

Here is a list of the most common signs of depression. If you have some of these signs that last for more than two weeks, see your health care provider.


How is depression treated?

Most people with depression get better when they get treatment. The two most common treatments for depression are medication and therapy (talking with a trained counselor). Sometimes just one treatment is used and sometimes a person takes medicine and sees a therapist. Health care providers may need to try different medicines to find the one(s) that help you the most. It also may take a few weeks or months on the medicine before you begin to feel a change in your mood and outlook.

How can I get help for my depression?

Here are ways to get help for your depression. Depression is not something you can just snap out of and feel better. Depression is a serious illness that needs to be treated. It's not your fault that you are depressed, and you can get better.


Mark specializes in Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy. He also has expertise in dealing with a broad range of issues from Anxiety and Depression to Anger and Stress Management.

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