Depression is not just a temporary "blue" mood or something that can be willed away. It is a serious illness that affects a person's body, mood, and thoughts.
Some of the symptoms commonly seen in a person with depression include:
- A persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
- Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness.
Common treatment options for depression include psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. Although the exact cause is unknown, the onset of depression is often associated with a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. In addition, there are several types of depression, each varying in severity, number of symptoms, and duration.
(For more information, including an expanded list of symptoms, click Depression.)