Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide

Depression

Michael B. Silverberg, M.D., Traci Speed, M.D., Ph.D.
Depression is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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DEFINITION

  • Depressed mood is a normal emotional response to loss, disappointment, or failure.
  • Major depressive disorder is an episodic illness associated with changes in mood, vital sense, and self-attitude. It leads to marked functional impairment and reduced ability to anticipate or experience pleasure or happiness. It is associated with feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, psychotic symptoms, psychomotor retardation, and/or suicidal ideation.
  • Depressive disorders are common mental disorders that occur in people of all ages and ethnicities. The timing, duration, and severity of symptoms help distinguish the various depressive disorders.

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Last updated: December 9, 2014