Mood disorders depression

For psychiatric purposes, a mood is defined as a sustained emotion. Depression and elation are the types of moods most commonly seen in mood disorders; others include anxiety and anger. Clinical depression and mania are diagnosed when feelings of sadness or elation are overly intense, continue beyond the expected impact of a stressful life event, or arise without apparent or significant life stress. Difficulty in functioning in everyday life is another characteristic differentiating mood disorders from normal emotional reactions.

Mood disorders depressionDepression

Originally a strictly medical term, the word"depression"has become common in everyday speech and is regularly used to refer to feelings ranging from everyday disappointments to major loss. However, it is important to distinguish between this understandable reaction to life events, and clinical depression. The dividing line is not a clear one as not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom of the illness, and the severity of symptoms can vary according to the individual involved.

Clinical depression is the most common psychiatric problem in our society and takes several forms including major depression, dysthymia, cyclothymia, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Research suggests that as many as 10 per cent of patients who visit a doctor are experiencing depression serious enough to affect their physical condition. The rate of major depression may be as high as one in four women and one in eight men. Sometimes depression is appropriate to a life event, such as bereavement, and does not need medical treatment.

 
 
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