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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures



Depression is a serious medical condition that affects thoughts, feelings, and the ability to function in everyday life. In contrast to the normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, clinical depression is persistent and can interfere significantly with a person's ability to function. Depression can occur at any age.

An interaction between genetic predisposition and life history appear to determine a person's level of depression risk. Episodes of the disorder may be triggered by stress, difficult life events, adverse effects of medications, or other environmental factors.