• Español


Photo of a fig

It's real, common, and treatable

Depression is a real—and common—medical illness that can affect your mind, body and spirit. It isn't always easy to recognize, but depression has certain symptoms that are different from the "blues," which everyone gets from time to time. With proper treatment, most people feel better and enjoy life more.

Are you depressed?

Use our interactive tool to find out if you or someone you know may have depression

Death of a loved one, job loss, a divorce, or a separation can cause short periods of emotional upset. These feelings of grief and temporary sadness are not the same as depression.

Who experiences depression?

Depression affects children and teens as well as adults.

Women experience depression about twice as often as men. Hormonal factors such as menstrual cycle changes, miscarriage, childbirth, menopause and perimenopause, and stress can all contribute to depression.

Women with depression are much more likely to be victims of physical abuse. If someone is threatening or hurting you, tell your doctor. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (toll free) if you need immediate help.

Though it's more common in women, depression affects at least 6 million men in the U.S. Men often experience depression differently and may have different ways of coping with the symptoms.  Learn about depression in men.

Learn more about what increases your risk for depression.

Reviewed by: Andrew Bertagnolli, PhD and Craig Robbins, MD, July 2013
Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2013 Kaiser Permanente