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What is depression?

Answer by:
WebMD Expert


Most people have felt sad or depressed at times. Feeling depressed can be a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, or an injured self-esteem.

But when feelings of intense sadness -- including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless -- last for days to weeks; affect your energy, sleep, and appetite; and keep you from functioning normally, your depression may be something more than everyday sadness. It may very well be clinical depression -- a treatable medical condition.