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.
When Scott Davis, 38, was suffering from major depression, he confided in his sister-law. “One day I found myself talking to her about all my fears about the depression, and the medication and therapy I was beginning. I was overcome with anxiety about my future, and she said, ‘I’ve been there.’ Those three words lifted all the pain I was feeling.”
Few decisions are as personal as whether to tell a loved one that you are suffering from major depression. “Telling someone about depression isn’t something...
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 - A form of low-grade, longstanding 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 depressionin 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.
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, and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
Neurotransmitters - Chemicals produced by the nerve cells in the brain. An imbalance or an inefficiency in communication between networks of nerve cells may lead to headache, 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 classified as major depression with a "peripartum onset specifier," meaning that it arises either during pregnancy or within 4 weeks after delivery.