Clinical depression is characterized by loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, and/or persistent feelings of sadness, loneliness, worthlessness, or hopelessness. It is differentiated from day-to-day mood fluctuation – everyone feels sad from time to time – when the emotional distress lasts for weeks to months on end, and disrupts a person’s daily functioning. If left untreated, depression can lead to deepening experiences of isolation and hopelessness, and have serious implications. While depression can be very painful, most people with depressive disorders respond to clinical intervention.
Evidence-based treatments for depression include individual psychotherapy, family therapy, mindfulness training, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).