Skip to content

    Depression Health Center

    Font Size

    Depression Glossary

    Antidepressant - Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

    Anxiety - A feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults and can grow progressively worse if not treated.

    Recommended Related to Depression

    Top 7 Therapy Myths Debunked

    Many people have a perception of talk therapy that doesn't quite match up to reality. If you think therapy means lying on a couch with a box of tissues and paying top dollar to talk to someone who doesn't quite get it, or that it's only for people who are mentally ill, think again. It turns out that most people could benefit from therapy -- but it takes work on your part, a therapist who meets your needs and really does understand you, and as much time as it takes -- at your convenience and within...

    Read the Top 7 Therapy Myths Debunked article > >

    Bipolar disorder - A form of depressive disease that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania.

    Depression - An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things.

    Dysthymia (Persistent depressive disorder) - A form of low-grade, chronic depression that involves fewer accompanying symptoms than seen in major depression that lasts at least two years in adults or one year in children or adolescents.

    Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) - A procedure used to treat severe depression in which a controlled amount of energy is applied via electrodes to the scalp while the patient is asleep under anesthesia. The purpose is to cause a brief seizure, which seems to have a powerful antidepressant effect when performed over a series of several treatments.

    Hypothyroidism - A condition when the thyroid doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. This can lead to symptoms of depression, fatigue, weight gain, and other health problems.

    Light Therapy (also called phototherapy) - Therapy consisting of exposure to light that is brighter than indoor light and mimics sunlight. It may help treat some forms of depression.

    Major Depression - A common and serious type of depression that lasts at least two weeks and is marked by sadness, fatigue, changes in sleep patterns and appetite and includes feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

    Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) - A condition that's characterized by episodes of profound ups with unusually high energy (mania) and downs (depression).

    Neurotransmitters - Chemicals produced by the nerve cells in the brain. Improper functioning of neurotransmitters, or inefficient communication between networks of nerve cells, may lead to clinical depression and other mental health problems.

    Postpartum Depression - Physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that may occur after giving birth. Postpartum depression is not a diagnosis separate from major depression; it is considered a "specifier" of major depression ("peripartum onset"), meaning that it arises either during pregnancy or within 4 weeks after delivery.

    Today on WebMD

    Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
    jk rowling
    Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
    depressed man sitting on hallway floor
    Learn the truth about this serious illness.
    Sad woman looking out of the window
    Tips to stay the treatment course.
    unhappy teen boy
    Health Check
    jk rowling
    Pills with smiley faces
    Teen girl huddled outside house
    Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
    antidepressants slideshow
    pill bottle
    Winding path