Definition of Depression (major depressive disorder, clinical depression)

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Forms of depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Postpartum depression
  • Psychotic depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder (someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”).

How COVID-19 has exacerbated levels of depression

  • Approximately tripled since pandemic began in early 2019.
  • Linked with people of lower income
  • Beyond after effects of 9/11 events, there are additional issues because of fear, anxiety, and dramatic economic consequences – while dealing with an “unknown” virus
  • Concern that mental health needs to be a focus for now and for next several years
  • Risk for depression symptoms highest among people with less than $5,000 in savings
  • Parents stressed of kids in school

Areas to focus that can assist

  • Moratoriums on evictions, extended unemployment compensation, universal access to healthcare, attention to mental health
  • Clergy, taking with family members, physician, focus on individual and group psychotherapy


JAMA Network Open (Sept 2, 2020)

HealthDay Article –