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

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 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 Brave Girl Eating
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.

Anxiety is a Mindfulness Problem

By Linda Esposito LCSW on February 25, 2015 in From Anxiety to Zen
Awareness is everything to anxiety. The solution isn’t identifying why you’re anxious—but recognizing the signs of anxiety before nervousness, panic and rapid breathing hijack your emotional wellness.

Love, No Matter What

During a prolonged hospitalization decades ago, a psychiatric nurse had asked me, "what is the secret of your marriage?" "I have seen many marriages fall apart because of mental illness" she had said, "it is as if the the wedding vows say until mental illness do us part."

New Sleep Guidelines to Keep Youth Healthy

By Richard Taite on February 24, 2015 in Ending Addiction for Good
Without regular age appropriate amounts of sleep, adolescents are at risk for developing a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, weight change, and sometimes insomnia.

How Changes in Media Use Can Transform Mental Health

By Rebecca Jackson on February 24, 2015 in School of Thought
Morning grouchiness is not an uncommon complaint from parents—especially parents of teenagers. But what happens when your child's mood doesn't improve throughout the day—when your child seems to be terminally bad-tempered? This case study examines the effect of media multitasking on a teenage boy's mental health.

The Secret Reason You Can't Lose Weight

By Temma Ehrenfeld on February 24, 2015 in Open Gently
Getting adequate sleep is essential to any diet.

How to Tell if Your Child Is Depressed

If you’re waiting for your child to admit to being depressed, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Maybe too long. As parents, we need to be proactive and know the signs of childhood depression.

Detecting Darkness: How to Spot Leaders Who Will Derail

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in A Sideways View
We know that leadership derail is both common and costly. We also know that there are many very good psychometric tests, which can help identify those who will derail. But so many selectors are afraid to use them. Why?

3 Speaking Tips From Oscar Winners

By Judy Carter on February 23, 2015 in Stress Is a Laughing Matter
Were the Oscars taken over by motivational speakers this year? Is John Legend the next Tony Robbins? Rather than giving mindless thank yous, this year’s winners shared MESSAGES. You can change the world in less than one minute, and speakers can definitely learn from this. Here are 3 tips for speakers from Oscar 2015.

What Is the Best Diet for Mood?

By Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc on February 23, 2015 in Inner Source
Which diet is the healthiest for your brain and mood?

Confusing How and Why Is Prolonging The Suffering in Bipolar

By Tom Wootton on February 23, 2015 in Bipolar Advantage
If you want to end all suffering you need to understand the difference between why and how. The reason so many people are still suffering is because this difference has not been made clear enough.