What is Depression?
Depression is an emotional disorder, with certain characteristics, and can be diagnosed in a variety of forms, including bipolar depression (manic-depression), major depression (what we usually think of as depression) and dysthymia (a low-grade, long-lasting form of depression). According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of disability, and the fourth contributor to the global burden of disease. Their website has a number of statistics about prevalence of mental illness around the world. Fewer than 25% of people with depression ever seek help for this, among the most treatable of all emotional disorders.
What all forms of depression have in common are:
If depression persists, it is likely you will also have the physiological symptoms of depression:
You may also have:
Depression and Grief
Depression is not grief. In contrast to depression, when you experience a loss, you may feel numb or terribly sad, but your self-esteem is okay, you don't have physiological symptoms of depression, and you have no suicidal thoughts. (Bereavement does lead to depression in about a third of cases of serious or sudden loss.)