Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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What is depression? Is it when you get a C on your math exam and you're feeling a little down? No, depression is not at all what it's cracked up to be. People often think that depression is feeling down once in a while, occasional feelings of sadness are a normal part of life. People who are not depressed cope with feelings and events without it effecting their daily routines and behavior. People often think being depressed is just a case of "the blues"�, however, sadness is not always the dominant feeling in a clinically depressed person. Numb feelings of emptiness, sometimes no awareness at all, can be experienced with depression. Depressed individuals often lose interest or pleasure in activities and things they like to do, or just flat out lose pleasure in everything. Depression is a marked change in a person's mood, in their self concept, and in the way they view the world.

Depression can be short or long term, the results can be severe or life threatening. The three main types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder.

Major depression consists of a combination of symptoms. These symptoms interfere with their ability to eat, sleep, work, and just functioning normally and enjoying things. These spells of depression can occur more then once or twice in a lifetime. Dysthymia, on the other hand, is a less severe type of depression. It consists of long-term symptoms that keep you from doing things at full potential or from feeling good about yourself and what you do. Bipolar Depression, otherwise known as manic-depressive illness, is less severe also and involves cycles of depression and happiness. Some other types of depression include: Seasonal Affective Disorder- depression that occurs every winter, symptoms include need for sleep, decrease in energy,