What is depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness, low mood, lack of interest or pleasure, and physical and mental exhaustion, anxiety, and worry. Depression can affect a person's thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical health. It can reduce a person's work and social functioning and quality of life. Depression is a treatable condition and can be improved with treatment and support.

Symptoms of depression may vary but may include:

  • Persistent sad, helpless, or hopeless feelings
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Physical fatigue and loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help. Depression is a treatable condition and can be improved with treatment and support.

Seeking support is an important part of treating depression. Support can come from family and friends, physicians, clinical psychologists or therapists, or community organizations. Some helpful forms of support may include:

  • Opening up to family and friends about your feelings
  • Finding a trusted person to listen to your concerns and offer encouragement
  • Participating in support groups or online forums where you can share experiences and receive support from others
  • Trying stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or other forms of mindfulness
  • Seeking out a professional clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who can help you understand and manage your depression
  • Working with your doctor or pharmacist to find the most appropriate treatment plan, including medication and/or therapy

Remember that you are not alone in this. Seeking support is a brave act that can help you through difficult times and enable you to recover.

Treatment for depression often involves a combination of medications and therapy. A professional will typically develop an individualized treatment plan based on a person's needs.


Antidepressant medications can help to improve chemical imbalances in the brain that can contribute to feelings of depression. It may take some time for antidepressant medications to take effect, so it may be several weeks before you notice any improvement. If you are taking antidepressant med It is important to follow your doctor's instructions and report any changes or concerns.


Psychotherapy can help you understand and address the underlying causes of your depression. Common types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychoanalytic therapy, and humanistic therapy. Psychotherapy typically involves regular face-to-face with the are increasingly more online platforms offering virtual therapy sessions.

Other treatments

In addition to medication and therapy, there are other treatments that can help to improve depression. For example, physical activity and exercise can improve mood, and some research suggests that certain complementary and alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and herbal supplements, may for some people. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment.


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