What is Depression?
Almost everyone feels sad
or "depressed" at certain times.
(also called Major Depressive Disorder) is confirmed by
the presence of a number of symptoms for at least a two week period.
These symptoms include sadness, loss of interest in usual activities,
changes in appetite, changes in sleep, changes in sexual desire,
difficulties in concentration, a decrease in activities or social
withdrawal, increased self criticism or reproach, and thoughts of, or
actual plans related to suicide. Clinical depression may vary in its
severity, and in its extreme forms, can be life threatening and may
Clinical depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, is distinguished
manic-depression or Bipolar Disorder
, in that the individual
only experiences periods of depression, potentially returning to
normal functioning in between times. In Bipolar Disorder, however,
the individual will cycle between depression and periods of
hypomania or full manic problems (euphoria, high energy, lots of
Approximately 1% of Canadian men and 2% of Canadian women are
clinically depressed at any one point in time, and about 5% of men
and 10% of women experience clinical depression at some point in
Women are at twice the risk of men
depression, but regardless of gender, once a person has had one
experience of clinical depression, they are at high risk for repeated