While we all experience feelings of sadness, gloominess or melancholy every now and then, clinical depression occurs when these feelings endure for long periods of time, often lasting for several weeks to several years if left untreated. Depression can interfere with a person’s ability to function effectively through the day or even to have the motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

Many people begin to feel depressed as a result of some recent significant event or events. We also now know that family history and genetics play a part in the likelihood of someone becoming depressed. Increased stress and difficulty coping with it may also contribute to depression. We also know that there are biological and psychological factors to every depression.

If you think you may have depression, it’s important to remember that the earlier you share your feelings with your doctor, the close you’ll get to peace of mind.