Like anxiety, depression is defined in terms of its symptoms rather than its cause. Depression is “a label for a feeling or affective state of dysphoria” (Craighead, 1981, p. 76). Symptoms that occur in at least 75% of individuals diagnosed as depressed include feelings of inadequacy and helplessness, indecisiveness, crying spells, loss of interest and enjoyment, fatigability, sleep disturbance, pessimism, dejected mood, and self-devaluation (Beck, 1973). Agreement, however, as to what constitutes a depressive state is often difficult to achieve in that these symptoms are neither unique to depression nor universally ascribed to that condition (Glazer, Clarkin, & Hunt, 1981; Harrow, Colbert, Detre, & Bakeman, 1966; Levitt, Lubin, & Brooks, 1983).
KeywordsAntidepressant Medication Major Depressive Episode Bipolar Depression Depressive State Adjustment Disorder
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