Depression fact sheet

Depression is a pathological state characterised by sadness associated with a reduction in psychological and physical activity.

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Depression: definition

Patients affected by depression feel helpless and the illness is often accompanied by other symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia. A depressive episode is one in which the symptoms of depression (major sadness, lethargy, loss of vital spark, and mental and physical decline) last for at least 15 days.

According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), depression is one of the three illnesses that have the greatest impact on quality of life.

The etymology of the word “depression” comes from the Latin word “deprimere”, which means to “press down” or “suppress”. Depression is the suppression of mood.

Depression is a debilitating mental condition, because it impacts relationships with family members, friends and coworkers. It appears in the form of longer or shorter episodes. If it is a permanent affliction, it is referred to as chronic depression.

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Article drafted under the supervision of Dr Isabelle Amado, psychiatrist, hospital practitioner in the Department of Professor Olié at Saint Anne Hospital in Paris, Coordinator of the Clinical Research and Evaluation Centre (CERC) and Head of the Referral Centre in Cognitive Remediation Therapy and Psychosocial Rehabilitation.

Sources: WHO

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