Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.

Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time.

  • - Adolescent depression.
  • - Depression in the elderly.
  • - Major depression.


Symptoms of depression include:

  • - Consistently low or irritable mood.
  • - A loss of pleasure in usual activities.
  • - Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping.
  • - A dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss.
  • - Fatigue and lack of energy.
  • - Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and inappropriate guilt.
  • - Extreme difficulty concentrating
  • - Slowed or agitated physical movements
  • - Inactivity and withdrawal from usual activities
  • - Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • - Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Low self-esteem is common with depression. So are sudden bursts of anger and lack of pleasure from activities that normally make you happy, including sex.

Depressed children may not have the classic symptoms of adult depression. Watch especially for changes in school performance, sleep, and behavior. If you wonder whether your child might be depressed, it's worth bringing to a doctor's attention.