Depression is a pervasive unhappy mood which is more severe than the common mood swings that people experience from time to time. In general, girls report more symptoms of depression than boys.

As a disorder, depression in many forms but 3 main types are:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD) – minimum duration of 2 weeks and is associated with depressed or loss of interest or pleasure, sleep disturbances, irritable mood, difficulty concentrating on task, feelings of worthlessness and significant impairment in daily functioning.
  • Persistent depressive disorder (P-DD) or dysthymia – associated with depressed or irritable mood, generally fewer, less severe but longer lasting symptoms than MDD
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) – frequent and severe temper outbursts that are extreme overreactions to the situation or provocation, chronic, persistently irritable or angry mood that is present between the severe temper outbursts (often misunderstood as conduct disorder, especially in teenagers with mood swings)

Individuals often experience deficits and bias in their thinking, including negative beliefs, attributions of failure to self, and self-critical automatic negative thoughts. Almost all individual with depression experience low or unstable self-esteem, have a few friends and close relationships, feel lonely and isolated, and feel that others do not like them. They experience poor relationships and conflict with their parents and siblings, who in turn may respond in a negative, dismissing or harsh manner. Most cases of depression report suicidal thinking, and about 30% who think about killing themselves actually attempted it.

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