What Is Depression?

Some 15 million Americans struggle with depression, an illness that comes in many forms—from major depression and seasonal affective disorder, to dysthymia and bipolar disorder. Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him.

A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depression cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better.

Depression, even in the most severe cases, is highly treatable. As with many illnesses, the earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is and the greater the likelihood that recurrence can be prevented.

Recent Posts on Depression

Remembering Blackouts: Interview with Sarah Hepola: Part 2

By Anna David on September 01, 2015 in After Party Chat
In part two of our interview, the author discusses “futon alcoholics,” AA bashers and a child-friendly version of her book (three pages about her cat).

The Essence of Confidence

By Hendrie Weisinger Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Thicken Your Skin
Here's a perspective that can help you build confidence in yourself.

Bad Science Creates False and Dangerous Beliefs

Science is what is used to justify psychiatry today. If it is science at all, it is bad science. Both the pharmaceutical industry and many of today’s psychological theories including those that support CBT, employ the hoax of evidence-based psychiatry.

Your Feelings Are Keeping You Stuck

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Creating in Flow
Using a bit of profanity for the sake of humor and enlightenment, a new book explores feelings and their uselessness in solving your most troublesome life issues.

What if Your Wife Has Postpartum Depression?

The key to overcoming postpartum depression is to identify it early and be proactive about seeking treatment together. Here is how to help your spouse if you are worried she has PPD.

Examples of the 4 Things Competent Therapists Do

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on September 01, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
The problem with principles is that they can lead to rules and checklists instead of empathic understanding.

Want to Have Fewer Morbid Thoughts?

By Elizabeth Wagele on September 01, 2015 in The Career Within You
Gregory Bratman and colleagues found volunteers were happier after walking briefly through a lush portion of their campus than volunteers who strolled an equal amount of time near heavy traffic.

Could Your Twitter Use Reveal a Secret to Happiness?

Those who score high on happiness, have happier immediate neighbors in terms of Twitter interaction, than those who are two or three links away, whose good cheer declines the further away from a very happy person they are. Large sources of happiness on Twitter, also seemed to have more interactions with extended networks.

Trade-in Transition: Mom Looks at a New Role as Kids Depart

By Julie K Hersh on August 31, 2015 in Struck By Living
Hersh finds closure of a part of her life by letting go of an old car.

The Traumatized Brain

A new blog about brain injury from the authors of the upcoming book, The Traumatized Brain: A Family Guide to Understanding Mood, Memory, and Behavior after Brain Injury.

What Is the Link Between Depression and Diabetes?

People tend to gain and lose weight all their lives, but do these extra pounds lead to poor health?

Obsess Much? Here’s Why

Obsessive rumination can be tied specifically to one’s own failures – for good evolutionary reasons. Understanding the nature of rumination may hold a key to dealing with this facet of mental life.

How to Move on From an Ex You Still Love

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on August 29, 2015 in Living Forward
Nothing can keep you from moving on to a better future than a lingering relationship wound. While time is ultimately the best of all healers there are some concrete steps you can take that will facilitate the healing process.

Saving Lives from Suicide

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Compassion Matters
Making it more difficult for someone to access the means for suicide can provide them the time and space necessary, to awaken from the suicidal trance, to get to the help they need and, ultimately, save their lives. So, how can we get people to the help they need? What can we do on an individual level to help prevent suicide?

More Thoughts on the Wound with No Name—First Aid

There are rarely any quick fixes when the wounds are deep, especially from early childhood and/or in combination with being highly sensitive. But what might help, right now?

My Daughter Steals And Lies

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on August 25, 2015 in The Teen Doctor
How To Manage Defiant Daughter

Speaking Up for Yourself, Part 1

The idea of boundaries feels like I may be asking them to put up a wall, to keep others away or just be alone without anyone near them.If you are depressed the idea of creating boundaries that separate you would make you feel much worse.

When Working Shifts Works Against You

By Shelby Harris Psy.D. on August 25, 2015 in The Land of Nod
A discussion of Shift Work Sleep Disorder

The Best Clinical Story Ever?

Great clinical stories teach us how to think, they liberate the mind from its ruts, and most importantly thy raise the bar of excellence to counter complacency and mediocrity.

How the "Bonding Potion” Oxytocin May Cure Anorexia Nervosa

Oxytocin is widely known as the bonding hormone for its effects on love and lust between two people in a relationship. Many studies have been performed to determine whether this love potion can aid in psychological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and depression.Oxytocin is making a big impact in science and is currently being researched to treat eating disorders.

Shy, Sensitive, Introverted…and Narcissistic?

By Linda Esposito LCSW on August 24, 2015 in From Anxiety to Zen
The Shy/Covert Narcissistic personality is overcome with worry, ineffective functioning, unfulfilled expectations, and hypersensitivity to stress.

Anxious America

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in Hidden Motives
We spend over 2 billion dollars a year on anti-anxiety medications. What are we so anxious about?

Can a Building Make You Sad?

By Colin Ellard Ph.D. on August 22, 2015 in Mind Wandering
Time worn principles in architecture suggest that we might like buildings that mirror the proportions and harmonies of the human form. But what about faces? New research shows how computer analysis of building facades might be used to show how face-like images on the surfaces of buildings affect our emotions.

4 Ways to Keep Your Perfectionism from Getting You Down

Always wanting your life, and everything in it, to be perfect can become a thankless enterprise. In addition to the fact that perfection is almost impossible to achieve, striving for the ideal can cause your stress levels to mount. These 4 tips will help you keep perfectionism under control.

My Daughter Can't Handle College

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in The Teen Doctor
What to do about daughter's inability to manage her life

After a Suicide Tragedy, Will There Be Copycats?

A recently published study entitled 'One followed by many?--Long-term effects of a celebrity suicide on the number of suicidal acts on the German railway net', found the number of railway suicidal acts, in the following two weeks, more than doubled in Germany.

The Importance of Sex While Raising The Special Needs Child

By Lisa Thomas LMFT on August 19, 2015 in Save Your Sex Life
Sex & Raising The Special Needs Child

Forgiveness, Acceptance, Compassion -- and Suicide

I don’t write these words -- acceptance, forgiveness, compassion -- as if they are tiny words, like ‘it’ or ‘to.’ They are enormous words, like ‘and’ or ‘but.’ In them lies tremendous potential, so much unknown.

Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on August 18, 2015 in Mental Wealth
By disrupting sleep, suppressing the brain's frontal lobe, raising stress hormones, and fracturing attention, daily screen-time is making children become the worst version of themselves.

"Why is Mommy so Sad?"

By Martha Manning on August 18, 2015 in Living With Depression
Within a family, depression is a gift that keeps on giving. Living with a depressed parent alters a child's current experience. Disturbingly, it puts the child at risk for developing anxiety and depression disorders later on, in adolescence and young adulthood. For these reasons, it is extremely important to attend to their adjustment during this stressful time.