Depression is one of the most common and most serious mental health problems facing people today. While it is only human to experience feelings of sadness, gloominess, or melancholy every now and then, clinical depression occurs when these feelings endure for long periods of time that can last for several weeks to several years if left untreated. Depression can interfere with a person’s ability to function effectively throughout the day or even to have the motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

Are the depressions related to Bipolar Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder? Bipolar Disorder, or what was commonly known as manic-depression, involves cyclical periods of severe depression with periods of extremely elevated or irritable mood known as mania. Mental Help Net offers a specific center devoted to Bipolar Disorder if you want to learn more about it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a popularized name given to describe depression that happens during particular seasons of the year, but it is not an actual DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) diagnosis. The diagnosis a person would receive who experiences depression during the fall or winter months would be Major Depressive Disorder, recurrent, with Seasonal Pattern. To keep it simple we will call this form of depression Seasonal Affective Disorder. This diagnosis involves symptoms of depression that occur during the fall and winter seasons when the days are shorter and there is less exposure to natural sunlight. When the spring and summer seasons begin and there is greater exposure to longer hours of daylight, the symptoms of depression disappear.

We have developed the information here to act as a comprehensive guide to help you better understand depression and find out more information about it on your own.

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