3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Depression
      Category : Health Centers > Depression


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Depression is a medical condition that leads to intense feelings of sadness or despair. These feelings don't go away on their own. They are not necessarily related to a particular life event.

What is going on in the body?

Depression is a disorder of the brain. Researchers believe that chemicals called neurotransmitters are involved in depression. Nerve impulses cause the release of neurotransmitters from one nerve cell to the next. This release allows cells to communicate with one another. Too little or too much of these important neurotransmitters may be released and cause or contribute to depression. Some of the neurotransmitters believed to be linked to depression are serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Here are some of the common types of depression:

  • Bipolar disorder: Also called manic depression, bipolar disorder is a type of depression that has either subtle or extreme "high" periods alternating with "low" periods of depression.
  • Dysthymia: This type of depression is characterized by ongoing yet mild symptoms of depression.
  • Major depressive disorder: This type of clinical depression is characterized by a severe lack of interest in the things that were once enjoyed or nonstop feelings of sadness.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: This type of depression occurs seasonally and is caused by lack of sunlight.
  • What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    There are many theories about what causes depression. Depression may be caused by any of these things:

  • certain illnesses
  • certain medicines, including antibiotics and medicines used to treat acne
  • changes in brain chemicals
  • heredity
  • hormonal changes
  • lack of sunlight
  • major stresses
  • negative thinking patterns
  • Risk factors for depression include:

  • alcohol abuse
  • drug abuse and addiction
  • job strain
  • personal history of a suicide attempt
  • personal or family history of depression
  • stress
  • Risk factors for depression can also be specific to an age group, such as children, adolescents, and seniors. Women who have just given birth may be at risk for postpartum depression.


    Next section


    Depression: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 04/26/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site