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What is Depression?

According the NAMI (2023), A depressive disorder (depression), is just more that feeling sad after experiencing a sad event such as a loss of a job. It is a serious mental health condition that left untreated can be traumatic for the individual and their families. 


Depression occurs more often in women than in men. Depression may occur in different stages in women and men lives. There are different types of depressive disorders, with similar and set of unique characteristics. 


The most common depressive disorder diagnosed in the United States is Major Depression Disorder (MDD). (NIMH, 2023).

The other symptoms that are associated with major depression include:

  • decrease or increase in appetite,

  • insomnia or hypersomnia,

  • psychomotor agitation or retardation,

  • constant fatigue,

  • feelings of worthlessness or excessive and inappropriate guilt,

  • recurrent thoughts of death and suicidal ideation with or without specific plans for committing suicide, and

  • cognitive difficulties, such as, diminished ability to think, concentrate and take decisions.

Girl with Micro Braids

The symptoms must persist for two weeks or longer and represent a significant change from previous functioning. Social, occupational, educational, or other important functioning are impacted by major depressive disorder. For instance, the person may start missing work or school, or stop going to classes or their usual social activities.

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