Depression is more than just feeling low. It's a deep sadness or emptiness you can't shake. You might feel hopeless, worthless, and restless. You might lose interest in things that you used to enjoy. Depression (also called major depressive disorder or MDD) often goes hand-in-hand with sleep problems, changes in appetite, and trouble concentrating.

Depression is extremely treatable and most people see improvements in their symptoms when treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Here are some general treatment options that you may want to take into consideration when seeking treatment for depression and/or related mood disorders. This information, however, is not meant as an alternative to seeking professional help.

Have you ever wondered what causes clinical depression? Perhaps you have been diagnosed with major depression, and that's made you question why some people get depressed while others don't.

Depression is an extremely complex disease. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it can occur for a variety of reasons. Some people experience depression during a serious medical illness. Others may have depression with life changes such as a move or the death of a loved one. Still others have a family history of depression. Those who do may experience depression and feel overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness for no known reason.

How do I get help for clinical depression? The first step is to talk to your doctor, who may recommend a physical checkup to find out if there is any underlying physical cause for the depressive symptoms. If clinical depression is diagnosed, then your physician or health maintenance organization will refer you to a mental health specialist. Mental health professionals include psychiatrists, psychologists, pastoral counselors and social workers.

What if I don’t feel comfortable talking to my doctor? Many people find strength and support through their religious and spiritual communities, however, only a physician or mental health professional is able to diagnose clinical depression. Pastoral counselors offer an integrated religious and spiritual approach to treatment.