Depression (Psychology)

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  • An emotional state typically characterized by low mood, despondency, and feelings of hopelessness. Individuals who are depressed tend to feel pessimistic about the future, unhappy, or “down in the dumps.” While feelings of sadness or depression are common, a clinical diagnosis of major depressive disorder (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [fourth edition, text revision; DSM-IV-TR]) is characterized by more severe symptoms that last for at least two weeks. Symptoms of a diagnosable major depressive disorder include depressed mood or intense sadness, loss of pleasure, disturbance of appetite and sleep patterns, psychomotor retardation or agitation, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, difficulties concentrating, and recurrent thoughts of suicide or death. Depression is a risk factor for suicide. Major depressive ...

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