What Is Depression?

Some 15 million Americans struggle with depressionan illness that comes in many forms—from major depression and seasonal affective disorder, to dysthymia and bipolar disorder. Depressive disorder 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 or her.

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 depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better.

Depression, even in the most severe cases, is a highly treatable disorder. 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

Hiding From Relationship—In Relationship

The suppression of the emotional vitality that we call passion is both the benefit and the cost of irrelationship, and a side effect of the process that creates it. Relationships can be enlisted in the service of defense in many ways. In irrelationship, the enlistment is constructed by two people, and enforced by both.

An OCEAN Far Away: Big 5 Personality Factors in Star Wars

Which Star characters characters are the most open to experience while others are set in their ways? Who's the most conscientious or lackadaisy? Who are the extraverts, who's most agreeable, and who's most neurotic? Help rate the characters in order to find out together.

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors

By The Book Brigade on March 03, 2015 in The Author Speaks
The millions of teens and adults who engage in self-destructive behavior do so because they never learned more constructive ways of soothing themselves in moments of distress. Many have engaged in such behaviors for so long that they can't envision a way out. But it's possible to replace self-destructive acts with kinder means of coping.

Happiness With Life 6: Serve Yourself a Slice of Happiness

I don't care how physicists define time. Time, to me, is choice. This blog, Serve Yourself a Slice of Happiness, provides the mindsets and strategies to choose pleasure each and every day of our lives.

When Boys Feel Like Girls and Girls Feel Like Boys

By Elizabeth Wagele on March 03, 2015 in The Career Within You
“I told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids.”

The Brain Is Not an Octopus

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on March 02, 2015 in Mind Change
Engaging in several tasks at once might seem like a wonderful solution for keeping pace with the speed of twenty-first-century life, but the price paid could be high.

Empathy for a Child Abuser?

Empathy for a child abuser? For a child molester? How can anyone be empathic with someone who has done something so terrible? Why would they want to? Do the perpetrators possibly deserve such a thing? For a judge or prosecutor, of course not. For stopping repetitive dysfunctional family interactions that trigger someone's self-destructive behavior? Necessary.

How to Feel Better When You’re Feeling Bad

When you feel down, discouraged or frustrated, Buddhist concepts and techniques can offer surprising relief. Here's some starter key ideas, and info on an accessible and engaging guide that can help you to learn more.

Why Do So Many Middle Aged Men Feel Lost?

Is the future of men "neutered uselessness"?

Midlife: Adult's Prime

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 02, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Why middle age truly is the prime of life.

Loneliness and Internet Use

At any given moment, hundreds of millions of people from all around the world are surfing the Internet, People rely on such networks to build and maintain their social contacts. Whether this new opportunity to be in social contact around the clock has enhanced people's well-being ?

Why Bullies Don't Feel Bad (Or Don't Know They Do)

If you assume that bullies are aware of feeling bad about themselves, you may be ineffective in dealing with them.

Evaluating a Counselor, Coach, or Psychotherapist

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in How To Do Life
Evaluation may be the most valuable skill we're not taught. I attempt to do so in this article.

Is Overprescription of Antidepressants Sexist?

A thoughtful editorial in today's New York Times, made me consider a new reason for concern about the overprescription of antidepressants: they are written disproportionately to females and may be suppressing women's natural emotionality.

Get Out of Yourself

We are fortunate when something happens that extricates us from an excessive focus on ourselves. The hardest burden in life is self-centeredness.

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Delivering Bad News

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in A Sideways View
Whilst it is usually both easy and enjoyable giving people good news, it is often very difficult delivering bad news to people. What do we know about the process and the best way to do it?

Empty Man Syndrome

By Alex Korb Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in PreFrontal Nudity
For some people depression is a hole they can't ever seem to climb out of. Often there are several factors conspiring against them.

Overcome Hopelessness Thinking and Stop Feeling Depressed

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on February 28, 2015 in Science and Sensibility
Can you think your way out of feeling depressed?

Dismantling “Major Depression”

Almost forty years after the publication in 1980 of the epic third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, it is starting to become apparent that psychiatry made a historic mistake in getting rid of its traditional three or four depressive illnesses.

How to Find Proof That Hope is Not Lost

By Gregg McBride on February 28, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
The little, seemingly innocuous ways you take care of yourself are your proof that you care about yourself. And this "proof of caring" can be the first step toward committing yourself to lasting and permanent change when it comes to other matters like losing weight, embracing wellness, and/or getting healthier.

Waldeslust - Joy of the Forest

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in One Among Many
Spending a little time in Nature can break the yoke of self-domestication and bring peace and happiness. Begin with a walk in the woods.

4 Keys to Great Sex

By Kimberly Key on February 27, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Sex with the wrong partner can have deleterious effects on your self-esteem. Learn the four keys to an awesome sex life.

Is Your Job Ruining Your Marriage?

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Most of us have had the impulse to yell at our boss or even burst into tears at work—but we typically don’t, because we don’t want to get fired. But suppressing our emotions at work can have a big impact on our home lives. Here's why:

Is Good Psychotherapy Worth the Investment?

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 26, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Nick, age 55, gets unstuck when he and wife Barbara join together to invest in their own depth therapy to deal with how to feel passion, be more cognitively flexible, and create a happier marriage. They are glad they did.

Can Law Improve People's Lives?

Can law make people's lives better? The answer is yes, and treating mental illness more effectively is one place to start.

4 Shocking Lies About Weight

By Harriet Brown on February 26, 2015 in The Truth About Your Health
4 shocking lies about weight and health you need to know

Coping With Traumatic Brain Injury

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Talking About Trauma
Tricia Williams, a clinical neuropsychologist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, explains how to improve child development and mental health for individuals coping with a TBI.

Do Generations Exist?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Is it misleading to speak about a self-absorbed “Me Generation” or jaded, cynical GenXers, overeducated and underemployed?

Grief: Is It Different for Suicide?

26 years after I first began figuring out how to tell people that my dad died by suicide, I’m still figuring it out. It’s not any easier.