Subscribe to illnesses and disabilities email updates.
Depression is a common but serious illness in which feelings of sadness and hopelessness do not go away. It is one of several mood disorders that, without treatment, can greatly interfere with a person's daily life and routine, such as going to work, taking care of children, and interacting with family and friends. Women are at higher risk of depression at certain times of life, such as after having a baby or in the years just before menopause. Having a chronic illness also increases your risk of depression. Most depressive disorders respond well to treatment, which can include talk therapy, medicine, or both.
Read more from womenshealth.gov
Depression During and After Pregnancy Fact Sheet — This fact sheet discusses depression during and after pregnancy, what might cause it, symptoms you may experience, and how it is treated. It also explains how untreated depression can negatively affect your life.
Depression Fact Sheet — This fact sheet offers information on depression, its symptoms and causes, how it is treated, and where to get help.
Explore other publications and websites
Age Page: Depression — This fact sheet explains the signs and symptoms of clinical depression and provides information on prevention and getting help.
Antidepressants: What You Need to Know About Depression Medication (Copyright © HelpGuide.org) — This publication describes how antidepressants work, including information about effectiveness and withdrawal. It lists the different types of antidepressants available and also describes the available treatment alternatives.
Depression and Heart Disease (Copyright © Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) — This fact sheet explains the link between depression and heart disease. It also discusses the likelihood of developing heart disease if depression is untreated.
Depression During and After Pregnancy: A Resource for Women, Their Families, and Friends — This booklet provides information on depression during and after pregnancy, addressing a broad range of physical and emotional struggles that pregnant and postpartum women and their families face. The booklet focuses on the possible causes of perinatal depression, how to identify it, what to do, and how it can affect your baby and your family. It also discusses the differences between “baby blues,” perinatal depression, and postpartum psychosis.
Late-Life Depression (Copyright © National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) — Depression can occur at any age, but symptoms in older persons often go overlooked and unchecked. This fact sheet describes the causes, symptoms, and treatments of late-life depression.
Mental Health Services Locator — This website will help you locate mental health treatment facilities and support services in your state.
Setting Goals for Recovery (Copyright © Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) — This publication presents a number of options to treat depression, varying from medications to hospitalization. This resource can also help those with depression create a goal setting plan.
Signs and Symptoms of Mood Disorders (Copyright © Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) — If you think you might have depression or bipolar disorder, this fact sheet will help guide you through the first steps of the diagnosis process. If you experience the symptoms listed here, you may want to talk with your doctor about depression or bipolar disorder.
St. John's Wort and Depression — This fact sheet has information about St. John's Wort, a popular herb being used by the public today to treat mild depression. This publication includes information on the FDA's role to monitor the use of this herb, how St. John's Wort works, how it is used to treat depression, and a drug interaction advisory.
Women and Depression: Discovering Hope — This brochure talks about what depression is, the different forms of depression, and the symptoms of depression in women. It also talks about how depression affects women of all ages and gives advice on where to go for help.
Connect with other organizations
American Psychological Association
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Freedom From Fear
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Institute of Mental Health en español
National Institute of Mental Health Information Center, NIH
National Institute on Aging, NIH, HHS
National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse
Postpartum Support International
Content last updated September 22, 2009.
Resources last updated September 22, 2009.
A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. • Washington, DC 20201