Depression is a mental illness that causes persistent low mood and a sense of despair. Learn More ›

Symptoms: Could You Be Depressed?

Everyone gets down in the dumps sometimes. But when those feelings are persistent and affect your daily life--interfering with work, school, and close relationships--depression could be to blame. Bad breakups, losing a job, the death of a loved one--all can trigger depression. But traumatic events aren't the only cause. It can also be brought on by stress, diet, or medical conditions. And depression can be a family affair, inherited through genes or learned by behavior.

Learn more about the symptoms of depression

Are You Depressed?

Take this health test to see if depression could be the cause of your symptoms.

Treatment: Taking Action

I have always resented that commercial urging us to "just do it." For people with depression, it's insulting — and useless — because the smallest task can seem like a huge obstacle. There are many times in life when moving forward requires bearing discomfort. Transitions from middle school to high school to college, or from one job to another, challenge us to master new skills. But people with depression sometimes have a tougher time during these periods because they have less confidence than the average person or because of their talent for imagining the worst — not because they are less capable than anyone else.

Learn more about treatment for depression

Living with Depression

Recognize that a depressive disorder is more than the blues. Without treatment, depression can last for weeks, months, even years. The first step is to see your primary care physician. A big reason to head to the doc: Some medications and medical conditions can cause symptoms that seem like depression. Your doctor will work to rule out these possibilities.

Learn more ways to beat depression

Your Guide to Depression

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Did You Know?

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People with depression are just feeling sorry for themselves and would be able to snap out of it if they'd just try.