Provides information on major depressive disorder, a serious but relatively common mental health problem.
Everyone is unhappy from time to time. In most cases, the mood passes and we soon feel like ourselves again. But what if the mood doesn't pass? Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or irritability that continue for two weeks or longer are the key symptom of a serious condition called major depressive disorder, which is known to afflict 17 million Americans every year.
Unlike ordinary unhappiness, which is normal and generally harmless, major depressive disorder has a strong negative impact on a person's quality of life. What's more, major depressive disorder can increase the likelihood of unemployment, diminish social relationships, increase vulnerability to illness, and in severe cases may even lead to death.
How can you tell if you or someone you care about might have major depressive disorder? Mental health professionals look for the presence of five or more of the following sy...
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