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Introduction Description A depressive disorder is a whole-body illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. The appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression. Types Of Depression Depressive disorders come in different forms. The three most prevalent types of depression are major depression, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia. Within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence. Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. These disabling episodes of depression can occur once, twice, or several times in a lifetime. Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic-depressive illness, involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual. When in the depressed cycle, a patient can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic cycle, any or all symptoms listed under mania may be experienced. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. Bipolar disorder is often a chronic recurring condition. A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long- term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep you from functioning at “full steam” or from feeling good. Sometimes people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes. Symptoms Of Major Depression And Bipolar Dis…

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