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What is Depression?

DEPRESSION is a very complicated problem. About one in 10 Americans suffers some form of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Women experience depression twice as often as men. Depression has devastating effects on a person's relationships with family and friends, on the ability to do productive work, and, of course, on the ability to enjoy life. With so many people suffering, you would think a simple definition of “depression” would be easy, but it is not. Depression has many meanings among doctors, mental-health professionals and people on the street. Why are there so many definitions? One reason for this is that there are many varieties of depression. These different varieties have partly overlapping symptoms. Information on symptoms is in Depression DSM-IV Diagnosis.

In other ways, psychiatrists feel stuck. About one quarter to one half of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder will find only partial relief or none at all from the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, such as venlafaxine (Effexor), bupropion (Wellbutrin), duloxetine (Cymbalta), or the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).If psychiatrists knew in advance which antidepressants were more or less likely to work and for which patients, they could devise more tailored treatments and avoid exposing patients to ineffective drugs and unnecessary side effects.

Women are disproportionately affected by depression, experiencing it at roughly twice the rate of men.

Depression is officially classified in the DSM-IV as a mood disorder. The Mood Disorders are divided into two types of depressive disorders, the unipolar depression and the bipolar disorder. The unipolar depression are what are normally understood as depression. They are classified as Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder. and Depressive Disorder.

The second group, bi polar depression is are distinguished from the first group by the fact that there is in addition to the major depression, periods of manic, mixed, or hypomanic episodes. The bipolar depression is further divided into four groups; the Bipolar I Disorder, the Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, and plain Bipolar Disorder. The mixed episode happens when the person has symptoms of both depression and mania at the same time. Hypomania is when the person is more active, but without the delusions of the mania phase. Cyclothemia is a milder form of bi polar depression, where hypomania alternates with a milder depression.

All these are explained in the DSM-IV diagnosis page.

Depression or Clinical Depression is a type of mood disorder, or an emotional disturbance. Mood affect how we feel emotionally and consequently, how we behave, or act and decisions we take.

The general opinion as to the cause of depression is that it is an chemical imbalance in the brain of certain neurotransmitters.

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