The term Depression describes a lowered mood and can range from mild and temporary periods of sadness to a more severe and lasting low mood. The term "clinical depression" describes the more severe form of this disorder which is also referred to as "major depression" or "major depressive disorder." Clinical depression involves significant disruptions to daily life and functioning. Diagnosis will distinguish clinical depression from sadness, eg arising from a loss, or due to a medical condition.

What is the prevalence of depression?

At present depression is the fourth most debilitating illness in the world after heart disease, cancer, and traffic accidents (World Health Organisation - WHO).

The WHO predicts by that by 2020 depression will have become the second most debilitating condition in the world.

Does depression occur more in certain age groups?

Depression is growing across all age groups but is most common between 25 to 45 years of age. The most rapid growth is in children and adolescents.

Is there a gender difference in prevalence?

Depression is diagnosed more often in women.

Is there a test for depression?

You can't have a test for depression, for example, like a blood test or an MRI. Depression is diagnosed in a clinical interview by the presence of a collection of signs and symptoms which clinicians agree constitute evidence of depression.

What is the treatment for Depression?

Depression is treated in two main ways. Psychological interventions and psychotherapy, and antidepressant medication. Although both are effective in different ways, combined approaches are generally considered to be the most effective treatment.

How is medication helpful?

Medication helps with any debilitating physical symptoms, and improves mood with the result that people do not continue to deteriorate.

It also facilitates sufficient improvement so that the individual is able to engage in psychological work.

How are psychological interventions helpful?

Talking about problems is thought to be helpful. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) teaches people skills to lessen/resolve their depression, and to help to prevent it in the future.

What happens without treatment?

Without treatment depression may deepen and become chronic, and tends to recur more often.

Depression is a particular area of interest for Rowe Psychology.

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