Depressive disorders are very serious mental disorders that impact a person's mood, body, and thoughts. Depression affects everything from the way a person sleeps and eats to the way he or she thinks about him or herself, as well as the way he or she views the world. It's important to note that a depressive disorder is not the same thing as a transient case of the blues. Depression is a chronic mental illness that is neither a sign of weakness nor a character defect; no one can simply "choose" or will themselves better. It's not possible without intervention for a person with a depressive disorder to just "pull him or herself together," and make a full recovery. The symptoms of a depressive disorder, if left untreated and unmanaged, may persist for weeks, months, or even years. While depression is a severe mental illness, there is hope: most people who struggle with depression are able to, with proper treatment approaches and ongoing care and monitoring, make a full recovery and begin to enjoy their lives once again.