What is Depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness, depressed mood and irritability. It can also cause changes in sleep, appetite and energy. Depression can also affect concentration and motivation. At its worst, depression can cause thoughts of suicide or wanting to hurt yourself or others.

What Causes Depression?

In some cases, there is no clear reason for depression. Other times, depression is caused by one or more of the following:

  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Family history
  • Personality
  • Certain medications

Depression is never anyone’s fault.

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Rev. 7/2018. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.