Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. The risk of developing a depressive disorder in the course of ones life is about 10-20%.
Read more: What is the prevalence of depression?
Depressive disorders belong to the group of the so-called mood disorders (affective disorders), which includes the bipolar disorders, the cyclothymic disorder (cyclothymia) and dysthymic disorder (dysthymia). There are several criteria by which one can distinguish the different types of mood disorders and depressive disorders.
Read more: Are there different types of depression?
Major depressive disorder usually occurs in single or recurrent episodes. In approximately half of all patients the depression subsides at the end of the first depressive episode without therapeutic support. In the other half of those affected the symptoms may persist or recur, so that therapy may be required.
Read more: How long is the duration of depression?
There are many different causes that may lead to the occurrence of depression. A distinction is made between factors that put people at an elevated risk of the occurrence of depression, and factors that ultimately lead to the onset of depressive symptoms like current living and environmental conditions.
Read more: What causes depression?
The decision which measures are required for the treatment of depression depends on the individual symptoms of the patient and the severity of the depressive disorder.
Read more: How can depression be treated?