Depression: What You Need to Know

Clinical Depression is a common, real and treatable illness.

To meet this goal, the Campaign for America's Mental Health works with a host of national organizations—both in and outside the health care field—for whom depression and its treatment represent an important concern for their memberships. In addition, local directors of the Campaign form partnerships with community groups to educate diverse populations about depression, promote screenings, and generate local media coverage.

Since 1992, this effort has helped hundreds of thousands across the country recognize depression, get needed treatment, and resume productive, fulfilling lives.

Basic Facts About Clinical Depression:

Treatments for Clinical Depression:

Clinical depression is very treatable, with more than 80% of those who seek treatment showing improvement.[3] The most commonly used treatments are antidepressant medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.  The choice of treatment depends on the pattern, severity, persistence of depressive symptoms and the history of the illness.  As with many illnesses, early treatment is more effective and helps prevent the likelihood of serious recurrences.  Depression must be treated by a physician or qualified mental health professional.

Symptoms of Clinical Depression:

If you have five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you could have clinical depression and should see your doctor or a qualified mental health professional for help.

Causes of Clinical Depression:

Many things can contribute to clinical depression.  For some people, a number of factors seem to be involved, while for others a single factor can cause the illness.  Oftentimes, people become depressed for no apparent reason.


[1]   National Institute of Mental Health: "The Numbers Count: Mental Illness in America," Science on Our Minds Fact Sheet Series. Accessed August 1999. Netscape:

[2]   Rupp A, Gause E, Regier D: "Research Policy Implications of Cost-of-Illness Studies for Mental Disorders," British Journal of Psychiatry Suppl 1998; 36:19-25.

[3]   National Institute of Mental Health, D/ART Campaign, "Depression:  What Every Woman Should Know," (1995). Pub No. 95-3871.