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             Depression is the most common mood disorder. Depression has been called the most common significant mental risk for women. Major depression can cause severe impairment in social and physical functioning and is often a major precipitating factor in suicide. Major depression seems to recur in generations after generation of some families, bit it can also occur in people without a family history of depression.
             What is life: A bowl of cherries? A beach? A ride at Disneyland? Maybe, for some teenagers. But for most people, life is downs as well as ups. Sometimes you make the basketball team; sometimes you are on cut list. Sometimes your parents are warm and seem to care about you; sometimes they do not see yours. Pets or loved ones can get sick and die. .
             Any of those things could cause somebody to be sad. That is perfectly normal- sad events make sad feelings. Add the heat of hormones in a teenage body, and those feelings can become even harder to manage. But when do those sad feelings cross the line and become depression? Depression is a medical term. It is defined in Mosby's Medical and Nursing Dictionary as "An abnormal emotional state characterized by exaggerated feelings of sadness, melancholy, dejection, worthlessness, emptiness and hopelessness that are out of proportion to reality."" In simple terms, it means feeling really bad about oneself and one's life.
             Depression is a "whole body- illness, involving physical, mental, and emotional problems. A depressive disorder is not a temporary sad mood, and it is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed away. People with depressive illness cannot just "pull themselves together- and get well. Not everyone who is depressed experiences all of the symptoms. Some people have very few symptoms; some have many. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 1.5 million people under the age of eighteen suffer from depression.

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