Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

What is happening to me when I have depression?


Depression in Brief Depression:

  • is a medical disorder
  • may be intense and painful
  • can last months or years
  • interferes with everyday living, including work and play
  • usually involves many symptoms, including changes in the way you feel, think, and behave
  • requires professional diagnosis and treatment
  • can be treated successfully

Here is what some people have said about having depression.

"My advice to others who have depression is to definitely seek psychiatric help. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is a chemical imbalance, and it can be corrected. There is hope out there. There are therapists and medications to try. And, don't give up if the first medications you try don't work for you." Rhonda

"I was always outgoing but, all of a sudden I didn't want to be around other people. I felt sleepy and terrible. I didn't even want to live." Mary

"I felt like I wasn't living up to my potential when I went to college. I was very hard on myself. The worse I did, the worse I felt about myself. It just kept getting worse." Susan

"I didn't want to face the day, but I forced myself because I had a daughter to get to school. For 4 years, I felt a weight on my chest. Sometimes I'd lie in bed for hours before I could find the strength to move the covers, stand up, and walk." Lynn

If you're feeling depressed, you may be wondering if your feelings are really bad enough to see a doctor, if what you are feeling is really depression, and if you are the only one who feels the way you do. If these are questions you've been having, read on.