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    Depression: Depression Glossary


    Dysphoric mood: Low mood that may include dissatisfaction, restlessness, or depression.

    Dysthymia: Also sometimes referred to as chronic depression, and classified as a type of "persistent depressive disorder." This type of depression occurs most of the time over a period of at least two years in adults and one year in children and adolescents. It is characterized by less severe, lingering symptoms of depression that may last for years.

    Eating disorder: Eating disorders are illnesses that cause a person to adopt harmful eating habits. They are most common among teenage girls and women, and frequently occur along with other psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. The poor nutrition associated with eating disorders can harm organs in the body and, in severe cases, lead to death. The two most common types of eating disorder are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): A procedure in which an electric current is briefly applied to produce a seizure while the patient is asleep under general anesthesia. This is used to treat depressive symptoms that are not responding well to other forms of treatment.

    EKG or ECG (electrocardiogram): A recording of the electrical activity of the heart.

    Guided imagery: A form of focused relaxation used to create harmony between the mind and body.

    Hypochondria: Fear of imagined illnesses or disorders.

    Manic depression (bipolar disorder): A mental illness that causes people to have severe high and low moods. People with this illness have episodes in which they feel uncharacteristically euphoric or irritable accompanied by high energy and at other times periods of depression in which they feel sad and hopeless. In between these episodes, a person's mood may be normal.

    Major depression: A diagnosis of major depression is made when, in addition to a severely depressed mood, the individual suffers from several other typical associated symptoms involving changes in their sleep, energy, appetite, thinking, and behavior for most of the time during a period of at least two weeks.

    Menopause: Menopause is a stage in life when a woman stops having her monthly period. By definition, a woman is menopausal after her periods have stopped for one year. Menopause typically occurs in a woman's late forties to early fifties. It is a normal part of aging, marking the end of a woman's reproductive years. Women who have their ovaries and uterus surgically removed undergo "sudden" menopause.

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