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What is Depression?

What is Depression?Depression, sometimes called "clinical depression", is a medical illness. People experience it differently, but it usually goes beyond feeling down, blue, or sad. Depression affects the whole person. It affects physical well-being, thoughts, and feelings. It can affect the way a person thinks and feels, both physically and emotionally. Some people with depression have aches and pains such as headaches and backaches. Depression is not a sign of weakness and is in no way an indication that a person is "crazy."

Depression is a result of chemical changes in the brain. For more information about why depression occurs, see "Why does depression occur?".

How Depression Affects You

  • Body:  You sleep poorly, have less energy, have more aches and pains

  • Behavior:  You talk less, socialize less, spend more time alone

  • Thinking:  You have more negative thoughts than positive thoughts feel hopeless, or lose interest in thinks

Depression is not the normal sadness we all have now and then that passes in a day or two. Nor it is the normal grief of losing a loved one. People who have depression may or may not say they are sad. They may say "I feel down" or "I feel irritable." They may also feel empty, tired, or lose interest in activities and people they used to enjoy.

Next:  How Common is Depression?>>

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What Is Depression?