Depression is a common disorder primarily characterized by either a low or depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities. Many additional symptoms are often present in the disorder, such as changes in weight, appetite or sleep patterns, fatigue, difficulty with concentration or decision making, moving more slowly than usual or agitation, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and suicidal thinking. To receive a diagnosis of major depression, an individual must have at least five of these symptoms, causing significant impairment in functioning, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks. Biological, cognitive, and interpersonal factors have all been shown to play a significant role in the development and treatment of the disorder.

Background and Significance

In addition to being extremely common, depression ...

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