"Depression is a serious medical condition. In contrast to the
normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, clinical depression is persistent and can interfere significantly with an individual’s ability to function. There are three main types of depressive disorders: major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)."
In addition to these three main types of depressive disorders, women can also suffer after childbirth from varying degrees of postpartum depression. The word postpartum means "after birth," and postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition that describes a range of physical and emotional changes that many mothers can have after having a baby. PPD can be treated with medication and counseling. Talk with your health care provider right away if you think you have PPD.
(National Women’s Health Information Center);
Postpartum Depression and the Baby Blues
(American Academy of Family Physicians);
Postpartum Support International;
KBHC Statement on Postpartum Depression
(by Dr. Ralph Whittenberg);
On-line Postpartum Depression Support Group.
Seeking help is important
Unfortunately, many people do not recognize that depression is a brain disease and is a treatable illness. If you feel that you or someone you care about is one of the many undiagnosed depressed people in this country, please take steps to get professional medical help that may help save your own or someone else’s life.
Facts About Depression
• Major depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and worldwide.
• Depressive disorders affect an estimated 9.5 percent of adult Americans ages 18
and over in a given year, or about 18.8 million people in 1998.
• The economic cost of this disorder is high, but the cost in human suffering cannot
• Nearly twice as many women (12 percent) as men (7 percent) are affected by
a depressive disorder each year.
The Invisible Disease: Depression
National Institute of Mental Health
What Is A Depressive Disorder?
Types of Depression.
Causes of Depression
Depression in Women
Depression in Men
Depression in the Elderly
Depression in Children
Diagnostic Evaluation and Treatment
How To Help Yourself If You Are Depressed
Where To Get Help
Depression is treatable. Suicide is preventable. Not all people with depression will have all these symptoms, or have them to the same degree. If a person has four or more symptoms, if nothing can make the symptoms go away, and if they last more than two weeks, a doctor or psychiatrist should be consulted.
Symptoms of Depression and Mania
List of organizations with information
Depression Screening Test