Depression and Older Adults Depression is more than just feeling sad or blue. It is a common but serious mood disorder that needs treatment. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, and working. Although depression can take on many forms and may be categorized in several different ways, there are two primary types of clinical depression as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5): major depressive disorder (unipolar depression) and the depressive phase of bipolar disorder.
Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For some individuals, major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities. Additional information can be found on the NIMH Health Topics page on Depression.