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What is Depression?

Depression is a common but serious mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Its symptoms severely affect how one feels, thinks, and handles daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. Additionally, depression may make someone feel that life isn’t worth living. Depression is manifested differently in men and women. Depressed women are more likely to feel sadness and hopelessness whereas depressed men may experience symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, anger, anxiety, and apathy.

Types of Depression:

What Depression is NOT?

Depression is not simply sadness, feeling down, feeling lazy or a sign of weakness/ lack of resiliency. Depression is not something that an individual can simply “snap out” of. Depression does not automatically mean that a person is suicidal, though depression does increase the likelihood of suicidality. Finally, depression isn’t solely biological or psychological. Depression can be a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

How Common is Depression?

1 in 6 people experience depression at some point in their life though symptoms can range from minor to very severe. It affects 6.7% of American adults each year.

It's not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Tips for Professionals to Work with Students with Depression:


Depression- NIH

Teaching Students with Mental Health Disorders - British Columbia

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