Depression is a mood disorder that affects nearly every aspect of daily life. At least 21 million American adults have had at least one depressive episode in the past year. Clinical depression differs from the situational form in that it is persistent and may manifest in cycles (bipolar disorder) or be relatively continuous for months or years. Two of the most common types of depression are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.
Someone living with depression will find their symptoms disrupt their daily life. Some will be able to function as far as caring for themselves and even being productive at work or school, but they still find themselves unhappy most of the time and unable to get much pleasure out of life. An example is losing interest in things that you used to enjoy.
The good news is that these conditions can be treated successfully. While it isn’t technically “curable” yet, we have evidence-based treatment methods for depression that can substantially improve symptoms and quality of life. Depressive disorders are almost always manageable with proper diagnosis and the right kind of care.