Depression is a complex medical condition that causes people to have excessive and intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness for extended periods of time. Depression is one of the most common medical conditions in the United States, affecting 7% of the adult population.6
The exact cause of depression is not known, however, there are several factors that may contribute or trigger an episode of depression such as genetics, emotional stress and/or traumatic events (a combination of genes and stress can affect brain chemistry and increase the risk of depression), alcohol or drug abuse, and other medical conditions.
People who have depression typically have more than one episode during their life. Symptoms vary person-to-person, but often include feeling sad, empty or hopeless, irritability or frustration, loss of interest in life and usual activities, sleep disturbances, tiredness or lack of energy, reduced appetite/increased appetite, feeling worthless, unexplained physical problems, inability to concentrate, thoughts of death or suicide