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What is Depression?


According to the DSM-5, depression is a period of at least 2 weeks during which there is either depressed mood or the loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities.

Depression affects the way you think, feel, or act. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), depression affects 1 out of 15 adults (6.7%) per year. 

Criteria & Symptoms of Depression

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • At least four of these additional symptoms:
    Change in appetite or weight, sleep, and psychomotor activity
    Decreased energy
    Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
    Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
    Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation or suicide plans or attempts

Risk Factors for Depression

Depression can affect many individuals; however, potential factors that raise the likelihood of depression are:

  • Biochemistry- Difference or imbalance of chemicals in the brain 
  • Genetics- More likely if another family member has depression
  • Personality- Low esteem, easily overwhelmed with stress, or higher pessimism
  • Environmental Factors- Exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, or poverty

Gender Differences

Females are more likely to experience depression over males.

Women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men.

Supports for Depression

  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Exercise
  • Find trusted friends or adults
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