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Depression has been called “the common cold” of mental distress. It is estimated that over 16 million Americans experience a major depressive episode each year. This estimate does not include other depressive disorders including disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, substance/medication-induced depressive disorder, and depressive disorder due to another medical condition.


Depressive symptoms can be described by the following descriptions: depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in once enjoyable activities, problems with sleep, appetite, energy, focus/concentration, self-image, or thoughts of death or suicide.


Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.


"Major Depression." National Institute of Mental Health. Accessed February 1, 2018.


Seligman, Martin. Learned optimism: how to change your mind and your life. New York: Alfred Knopf, 2007.