What Is the Definition of Depression?

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Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It interferes with your day-to-day activities. Symptoms of depression may include:
  • Tearfulness and hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of energy
  • Slowed thinking
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Thoughts of death
Risk factors include:
  • Traumatic or stressful events
  • Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem and being too dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
  • Blood relatives with a history of depression
  • Abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs
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