Depression is a mood disorder that causes a consistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how a person feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. At any point in time, 3 to 5 percent of people suffer from major depression; the lifetime risk is about 17 percent.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply “snap out” of. People with depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless.
Although depression may occur only one time during your life, usually people have multiple episodes of depression. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include: