Are you currently experiencing a depressed mood and an overall loss of pleasure in life?

Depression is a feeling of severe despondency and sadness which centers on the themes of significant loss and loss of control. Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental mood disorders in the United States. Major depressive disorder causes a persistent feeling of sadness and affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. It is characterized by a variety of symptoms such as a depressed mood or sadness, loss of pleasure, symptoms of impaired concentration, fatigue, loss of energy, appetite and sleep changes, irritation, loss of pleasure, feelings of hopelessness, crying spells and/or suicidal thoughts. Depression may often lead individuals to interpret their life experiences in terms of being deprived of something, deficient in some area or just generally defeated. The interpretation of these experiences during a depressive episode may be combined with the expectation that these experiences will be permanent in nature leading to hopelessness and sadness for the future. Depression carries with it a high cost in terms of relationship problems, family suffering and lost work productivity. The condition of depression is often cyclical, and early treatment may prevent or forestall recurrent episodes. Treatment for depression is through the utilization of psychotherapy, primarily, cognitive therapy which teaches individuals to challenge self-defeating, but enduring ways of thinking (cognitions) and change counter-productive behaviors.  Medication including anti-depressants may also be prescribed from a primary care physician or a psychiatrist as part of the treatment regimen for depression.