Friday, September 19, 2008
The term "depression" is commonly used in the vernacular to describe a temporary depressed mood, when a person may feel sad or "down". Ideas about what causes and constitutes depression have evolved over the centuries. Today, mental health professionals regard chronic and severe depression as a serious and often disabling condition that can significantly affect a person's work, family and school life, sleeping and eating habits, general health and ability to enjoy life. Depression is a major risk factor for suicide; in addition, people with depression suffer from higher mortality from other causes. When specific treatment is indicated, it usually consists of psychotherapy and antidepressants.