Most people get depressed at times. Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, lonely, scared, nervous, or anxious. These feelings are normal reactions to life's stressors. Clinical depression occurs when these feelings are there every day or most days for two or more weeks. This is a very serious condition that can affects one's thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health.
If untreated, episodes commonly last anywhere from a few months to many years. An estimated 25 million American adults are affected by major depression in a given year, but only one-half ever receive treatment. It is important to recognize the signs of depression and get help and support for symptoms. Depression can impact a person's functioning in any of the following areas: