Depression is a serious medical illness. It's more than just a feeling of being sad or "blue" for a few days. If you are one of the more than 19 million teens and adults in the United States who have Depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include
Feeling sad or "empty"
Loss of interest in favorite activities
Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
Feeling very tired
Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is a disorder of the brain. There are a variety of causes, including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but it often begins in teens and young adults. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum Depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.
There are effective treatments for Depression, including antidepressants, talk therapy, or both.
Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.
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