Although the term depression can encompass minor depression and dysthymia, less severe but chronic depression, this entry addresses the diagnostic and treatment options for major depressive disorder with chronic severe symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, concentrate, eat, and enjoy life. The risk of experiencing depression is increased for persons who have a chronic medical illness, disability, are socially isolated or have impaired social supports, or have experienced stressful life events.

Prevalence and Causes of Depression

According to a study published in 2017 in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the estimated prevalence of depression in adults, within the preceding 12 months, is 6.7%, this can be compared with other high-income countries whose prevalence varies from 2.4% in Japan to 7.0% in Portugal. The 12-month ...

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