Depression is defined by its symptoms regarding how you think, feel and act. Symptoms can last for a few weeks to years and develop slowly or come rapidly. Some depressions are mild with feeling bad and a lack of energy and some are severe enough to require hospitalization.
Depression is characterized by a negative state of mind with a sense of being defeated. Depression is usually self-limiting and most people simply persevere until it lifts. However, with proper treatment depression can be overcome along with strategies to prevent future periods of depression.
Depression can occur at any age and the exact cause is unknown. Factors that contribute to depression are: environmental, neurobiological, genetics, gender (women twice as likely to become depressed), and stressful life events.
Major Depressive Disorder:
You can be considered to be clinically depressed if you have at least five of the following symptoms for at least two weeks and at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
Seasonal Affective Disorder:
Is a type of clinical depression that appears at certain times of the year.
Post Partum Depression:
Is a form of Major Depressive Disorder that occurs after giving birth.
Is a low-grade depression that is experienced for at least two years and the symptoms are never absent for more than two consecutive months. During the two years there has been no Major Depressive Episode.
Is characterized by cycles of normal moods, depressive symptoms similar to major depression and elevated or agitated states know as manic states. Bipolar ll is characterized by hypomanic states and is less severe than the manic state of Bipolar l. In manic states the features are grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, more talkative than usual, flight of ideas, distractibility, increased goal directed activity, and excessive involvement is pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (spending sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments).