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Special Groups and Depression:

What is Depression?

Depression is a serious medical illness; it’s not something that you have made up in your head. It’s more than just feeling "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. It’s feeling "down" and "low" and "hopeless" for weeks at a time.

Signs & Symptoms of Depression

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed

Treatment of Depression

A variety of treatments including medications and short-term psychotherapies have proven effective for depression.

Depression and Other Illnesses
Depression often co-exists with other illnesses. Such illnesses may precede the depression, cause it, and/or be a consequence of it.


Read, print, or order NIMH booklets, fact sheets, and other publications on depression such as:

Stories of Depression
An introductory booklet describing signs, symptoms, treatment options, how to get help, and how to help someone who may have depression.

A detailed booklet that describes major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder (manic-depression); lists symptoms; reviews possible causes; tells how depression is diagnosed; and discusses available treatments.

Men and Depression.
A detailed booklet that describes what you need to know about depression in men: How it looks, how it feels, getting help, and getting better.

More Publications