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Being depressed is a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, or an injured self-esteem. But sometimes the feeling of sadness becomes intense, lasting for long periods of time and preventing a person from leading a normal life.

Depression that has these characteristics is a treatable medical condition called major depressive disorder, one of a number of depressive illnesses. Types of depression include: Major depression, chronic depression (dysthymia), bipolar depression, and seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder or SAD).

Medicines are commonly used to treat depression. Your family doctor or a psychiatrist can prescribe them. They are chosen based on your symptoms and adjusted based on efficacy and side effect profile.