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Depression: Major Depression & Unipolar Varieties
Basic Information

Everyone has days where they feel blah, down, or sad. Typically, these feelings disappear after a day or two, particularly if circumstances change for the better. People experiencing the temporary "blues" don't feel a sense of crushing hopelessness or helplessness, and are able, for the most part, to continue to engage in regular activities. Prolonged anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure), hopelessness, and failure to experience an increase in mood in response positive events rarely accompany "normal" sadness. The same may be said for other, more intense sorts of symptoms such as suicidal thoughts and hallucinations (e.g., hearing voices). Instead, such symptoms suggest that serious varieties of depression may be present, including the subject of this document: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or (more informally), Major Depression.

For people dealing with Major Depression, negative feelings linger, intensify, and often become debilitating.

Major Depression is a common yet serious medical condition that affects both the mind and body. It is a complex illness, creating physical, psychological, and social symptoms. Although informally, we often use the term "depression" to describe general sadness, the term Major Depression is defined by a formal set of criteria which describe which symptoms must be present before the label may be appropriately used.

Major Depression is a mood di...

Latest News
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Preventive Intervention for Premature Infants Effective
Depression Can Make Pain Worse
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Treatment Found to Reduce Depression in Psoriasis
Depression After Heart Attack Tied to Brain Changes
Older Adults Have Lower Rates of Mood, Anxiety Disorders
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Magnetic Stimulation Found Effective for Depression
Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Impact Child Behavior
Depression Linked to Increased Chocolate Consumption
Antidepressants May Improve Heart Health
Depression and Smoking Go Hand in Hand in U.S.
Health Tip: Coping With Postpartum Depression
Kids' Suicide Risk Same for All Antidepressants
Median Duration of Bipolar I Mood Episodes Is 13 Weeks
Brain Glitch May Raise Some Girls' Odds of Depression
Help for Depressed Latinos Often Hampered by Stigma
Antidepressants Effective in Physically Ill
Outcomes of Depression Drug Treatment Affected by Diabetes
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Passive Response to Social Stress Linked to Depression
Questions and Answers
Ask a Question...
Quadruple Bypass Surgery
I am an 18 Year Old Mom Diagnosed With Severe Depression And Anxiety
Extremely Scared: I Felt Indifferent Toward an Obsession
Suffering with Treatment-Resistant Depression
My Fiance May Have a Sexual, Nude Photo Addiction
Infections and The Brain
My Girlfriend's Family Is Ruining Our Relationship
I Need Help And Am At The End of My Rope
How Can I Cope With My Husband´s Depression and Its Sexual Consequences?
What Is The Difference Between Mental Illness and Depression?
Is There Hope For Me?
Am I Over Thinking This, or Am I Right?
Do I Need Help?
What Is It?
Why Am I Thinking Like This?
Why Does My Mother Hoard Everything, Including Garbage?
Right in the middle of a nervous breakdown; What's wrong with me?
Huge Disapointment With My Husband
I Don't Really Care About Anything. What Should I Do?
No Sex
Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Curable?
Is it Really a Problem?
I am Terrified of Death.
Detached: I Feel Guilty, But I Can't Help it.
My Father, The Sociopath...
I Feel Like a Question Mark
Am I Not Normal!?
Our 23 Year Old Son Refuses to Get Help for His Anxiety Attacks and Depression.
What is Wrong?
Husband Abandoned Me
D.I.D. Diagnosis, How do I Accept This?
I Don't Know Anymore. Please Help.
I Think I am Gay and I Need Help to Convert to Heterosexual?
Breaking up With Bipolar
Depression - Blacking Out
He's Distant. Is he Leaving me?
My Boyfriend Saved Pictures of his Ex-Girlfriend on His Computer.
Restroom Phobia
What Is Wrong with Me?
Should I Seek Help?
When to Leave Therapy?
Help Me Please. What is Going On With Me?
I'm Afraid I'm Going Crazy
I Don't Know What To Do
Am I Wallowing in Depression?
Sexual Abuse and Its Effects on Relationships Afterwards
What Is Wrong with Me, Doc?
Am I Suffering a Kind of Psychological Problem?
Attention Deficit and Depression
Do I Have an Eating Disorder?
Do you think I sound depressed? I don't understand what is going on
No Sex Drive
Is This Bi Polar?
Depressed 19 year old college student
Depression helps to contribute to my unemployment! - Paula
Will I ever feel normal?
I feel like I am going crazy
What is wrong with me?
I'm Scared
What Is Wrong with Me?
Cyclical Depression
Frightening thoughts - fear losing control - please help!
Anxious, depressed, confused, angry....the typical...
My depressed husband won't sleep with me. What should I do?
Giving Up - Dad of three - Sep 15th 2008
Counting ritual - Zami - Aug 30th 2008
dont understand me
Exercising violence in dreams
Swallowing fear
My husband wants to leave me
Is there help for a person who has always been a 'little depressed'
Depression Treatment
Please help.
Lovely, however... - Julie C. - Jul 14th 2008
I am really worried about my mental health (19yr old female)
Am I depressed?
Identity Confusion: I don't know what personality disorders I have
Do I Have Bipolar Dsorder?
Is there something wrong with me?
Will I Ever?
Worried about my son
Is There Help Out There? Lonely Mother of Three
Am I Depressed?
Major Depressive Disorder Severe with Psychotic Features
OCD- No feeling
Help!!!: Laci
Is the memory of my father dooming my relationship?
Worried about thoughts
How long will i be on medication for treatment of my depression
My Mother Won't Go For Depression Treatment!
Where do i start to get on the road to recovery
What is wrong with me?
Stuck in an on-again, off-again relationship for 10 years
Depression Treatment
How do I get my dr.s to understand and help me?
What treatments are available after you've tried the medicines of last resort?
no one will help!
Should I seek help?
A fighting couple
Do I have a mental health problem?
Whats wrong with me?
depression and employment
how do you treat depression in teenager males?
Is it ok to feel this way?
Have DID: Getting Worse Not Better
Can we contact my mother's doctor?
anxiety or going crazy?
ADD, Tourettes or both?
I think i'm lost?
Don't want to take meds
Will this ever end
Get Supported
Stages of Depression
Is there any help?
Can you help?
Dark Fantasies
Blood tests
Is it illusion or truth?
should a depressed person marry?
Dementia and Depression
What type of exams can proven that a person has bipolar disorder?
Stuck in a mental rut...
Loss of Patience
i can't seem to get over any of this
Intrusive humiliating memories
Is there some way to deal with depression without meds?
losing personality wholness
What is the point of life?
No change is normal mood (e.g., Depression)
Lack of Personal Hygiene
Diagnosing Depression
Does untreated depression pass on to a fetus?
A Request for Help
Regular thoughts of killing myself
How do I help my depressed, unemployed mother
Angry at my doctor for prescribing so carelessly
I become very hostile towards myself
Coming to Terms With My Own Pathetic Existence
Do environmental factors hold a person back?
Tired of this Depression
Struggling With Feelings And Thoughts
Greatly Depressed
Is Depression Getting More Prevalent?
An Empty Shell
Helping My Husband
Inability To Express Myself
Non-medication Help For Depression
Sick Of Feeling This Way
Untrusting Patient
Depressed and Not Dating
Congenital Laziness
Moody Boyfriend
Electroconvulsive Therapy
Frustrated and Sucked Dry
Too Young For Meds
Depressed Husband
Paranoid Depression
Self-Harming Attention Seeker
Did My Parents Make Me Like This?
Wild Mood Swings
A Wonderful Man
How Can I Become Less Depressed?
18, Sad and Hopeless
Should I Continue With Therapy?
Childhood Depression
Can I Help My Wife With Depression?
Prozac Questions
Approaching My Tightly Wound Depressed Attorney Brother
Brain Injury and Depression
No Compassion For Depression
Recurrent Depression
Meds Don't Seem To Work So Now What?
Do People Recover From Depression?
Shy Dancer
Crying Is Behavior
Med Consult
Feeling Depressed and Insecure
Shyness And The Post Partum Blues
The Aftermath of Abuse
Do I Tell My Children I'm Depressed?
Now What?
Medicine Doesn't Work Anymore
The First Time
Depressed Boyfriend
How Do I Leave?
Potentially Suicidal Boyfriend
Alternative Treatment
Bereavement and Grief
Paranoid Dad
Depression Affects The Entire Family
How Can I Stop Depression From Recurring?
Crohn's Disorder Side Effects
Is Paranoia A Destiny?
Post-Drinking Depression
Security Clearance and Depression
Can I Inherit Depression?
Two Clinicians
Depressed Spouse
Depression 101
Controlling, Disabled Husband
Are These Just Mood Swings
Drifting Apart?
Drinking. . .
A Mother Struggles with Depression
Marijuana and Depression
Overburdened Mom
Trashed House
Beautiful Dreamer
PMS Woes
Severely Depressed
Miss Lonely
Unhappy and In Therapy
He Won't Tell Me Why...
Depression Affecting My Relationship
My Children Aren't Speaking..
My Wife is Depressed
My Boyfriend Is Depressed
Carolyn writes:
Parlante writes:
Book Reviews
A Heart of Stone
A Mood Apart
A Philosophical Disease
Active Treatment of Depression
Adolescent Depression
Against Depression
An Unquiet Mind
Beating the Blues
Before Prozac
Beyond Blue
Blaming the Brain
Calm Energy
Conquering Postpartum Depression
Conquering the Beast Within
Depression 101
Depression Fallout
Depression in Context
Depression Is a Choice
Depression, the Mood Disease
Depression-Free for Life
Doctors of Deception
Down Came the Rain
Dysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic Depressions
Emotional Claustrophobia
Essential Psychopharmacology of Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Everything Is Fine
Experiences of Depression
Handbook of Depression
Handbook of Depression
History of Suicide
How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me
In Pursuit of Happiness
Journeys with the Black Dog
LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1
LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2
Lifting Depression
Lincoln's Melancholy
Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married
Malignant Sadness
Manufacturing Depression
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
Mood Genes
My Depression
Natural Healing for Depression
New Hope for People with Depression
On the Edge of Darkness
Outsmarting Depression
Overcoming Depression
Potatoes Not Prozac
Prozac and the New Antidepressants
Prozac Backlash
Prozac Diary
Prozac Nation
Puppy Chow Is Better Than Prozac
Quiet Your Mind & Get to Sleep
Raising a Moody Child
Songs from the Black Chair
Speaking of Sadness
Student Depression
Subordination and Defeat
Sunbathing in the Rain
Swing Low
Talking Back to Prozac
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Mood Disorders
The Anatomy of Melancholy
The Anti-Depressant Fact Book
The Antidepressant Era
The Beast
The Bell Jar
The Corrections
The Cruelty of Depression
The Depressed Child
The Depression Cure
The Devil Within
The Emotional Revolution
The Family Silver
The Feeling Good Handbook
The Mood Cure
The Nature of Melancholy
The Noonday Demon
The Postpartum Effect
The Secret Strength of Depression
The Van Gogh Blues
The Van Gogh Blues
Understanding Depression
Undoing Depression
Unholy Ghost
What the Birds See
When a Parent is Depressed
When Nothing Matters Anymore
When Words Are Not Enough
Why Are You So Sad?
Writing Through the Darkness
Self-Help Groups
Basic Information
Introduction and Types of DepressionRelated Disorders / ConditionsHistorical and Current UnderstandingsBiology, Psychology and SociologyTreatment - Medication and PsychotherapyAlternative Medicine and Self-Help ResourcesSpecial IssuesReferences
More InformationTestsLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Addictions: Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Pain Management