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What is Depression? Definition and Explanation

Updated on March 17, 2012

What is Depression?

We all have a general idea about, ‘what is depression?’ If a person is sad, gloomy or feeling low, he/she is depressed. But when we talk about the disorder of depression, there is a difference.

Feeling sad, despaired, broken, alone or ‘depressed’ are common things in life. You cannot tag a person with a depression disorder because of feeling sad. Every person feels these emotions in his life, when some unhappy, dreary, gloomy, miserable or mournful event happens. This is just depression, the state of being depressed or sad, but if the person is not able to move on after a reasonable time period, that is ‘depression disorder’, which is also called clinical depression.

Clinical depression is a vast topic to cover; to read more about it, read 'CLINICAL DEPRESSION AND TYPES OF DEPRESSION'


Definition of Depression:

Above is the explanation of depression in laymen’s term. Now after your basic understanding, it is time to go through a proper medical definition of depression. According to MediLexicon’s Medical Dictionary, depression is:

A mental state or chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, and self-reproach; accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation (or less frequently agitation), withdrawal from social contact, and vegetative states such as loss of appetite and insomnia.”

One important thing to be noted here is that a person with clinical depression is not a weak person. Often a depressed person is wrongly perceived as a weak person who cannot stand against the troubles of life and face them. This is a wrong concept and people should not think like this. Clinical depression is an illness – a disorder. Depression works the same way as any other disorder or illness, say, ulcer, cancer, tuberculosis. As a person cannot do much against those disorders and illnesses, a person cannot either stand against depression – clinical depression, without proper treatment.

Read about Symptoms and Signs of Depression:



1. Depression is a state of being sad and gloomy.

2. The depression disorder is termed as Clinical Depression.

3. Clinical Depression is not the same as our usual sadness’ feelings. It is a disorder which requires proper attention and treatment.

4. A person with depression disorder is not a weak person. He just suffers from a disorder/illness, upon which he has no command.


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    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      That's so sweet of you. Thank you for your kind words, appreciations and blessings :)

    • profile image

      PenMePretty 6 years ago from Franklin seems like the entire world is in a state of depression, followed by panic. I feel your article has

      perfect timing--we all need it. Most everyone has experienced depression, just some more than others. You did an expert job expressing yourself here. I certainly

      can relate to how it painfully hurtful depression can be.

      I'm sure many will benefit from your work. Blessings!

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Vinaya: Thank you for stopping by. The pleasure is mine :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      Once depression had been a quite nerve racking problem in my family. Thanks for this nicely elaborated article.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Career-Guide: Thank you so much for your kind words. It encouraged and motivated me a lot. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Career-Guide profile image

      Career-Guide 6 years ago from Mars

      @Hunbbel - I think whenever we read a Hub related to such content mostly founded with construction of rigid abbreviation, Definition and words that really depresses .... but you have the quality of simplifying things in a very easy and short manner.

      It is awesome

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Admiral_Joraxx: Thank you :) I didn't want to depress other people as well by making them read a long 'depressive' article hahaha.

    • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

      Admiral_Joraxx 6 years ago from Philippines

      Very straight to the point, its short but very informative, with this, depressed people will not be depressed of reading a very long winding article to help themselves. Great hub hunbbel! voted up and useful

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      I agree. I guess I should manage my time a bit and get this 'treatment of depression' hub, done as soon as possible. I am on. Thanks everyone for liking and providing me with the valuable feedbacks :)

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 6 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      well, it's a timely topic for people who have undergone depression. i too have experienced that...

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Interesting hub, voted up and useful.

      I think the treatment of depression hub will be of benefit to many, not just to those that are clinically depressed, but to all going through a bad time in their lives.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @ H P Roychoudhury: Thank you, sir, for stopping by. More articles of the same series are under-development. The topics include: depression and anxiety, depression in teenagers, treatment of depression.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

      I am very pleased with the simple definition of depression and disorder of depression. If the hub contains the solution of depression and disorder of depression, it would be very beneficial to us all. Nice topic and nice hub.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      It is sometimes hard to tell the difference, whether a friend or relative is just sad for a while or clinically depressed and needs help. In our family, we tend to keep a stiff upper lip and not speak of our problems to each other. It's the way we were raised. So if someone has an issue, it takes wild horses to drag it out of them!

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      Thank you for taking your time off and providing us with your useful feed back :)

    • VENZKHVAM profile image

      VENZKHVAM 6 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

      Dear Hunbbel Meer,

      The best part of reading your hub is it is simple, but explain the whole meaning of the all the words you explains. nicely written. voted useful.

      @writer20 I would here by like to give some suggestions(IF YOU DON'T MIND) as you are undergoing the INITIAL STAGES OF DEPRESSION due to your husbands cancer. This world is full of good and bad , when good happens all people will be with you. but when bad happens very few true good friends are going to be with you. understanding that whatever it is try you level best in treating your husband, pray to god for his faster recovery, keep on writing your feelings in this hubs irrespective of the marks and appreciation the comments will make you feel good. Always express positive attitude and happiness in what you have and try for the best.

      For uplifting your mind from all this depression. I request you to read two hubs one written by sunnie where she had written her triumph of her father who had a paralytic attack and how positively he is being an example of positive attitude and inspired many.

      Another one is my hub written on how to come out of the failures and depression in spite of adverse life situation and become successful. I am sure both this hub will give you enough inspiration to bounce back from your depression and be an asset to your husband rather than a burden.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Sueswan: People with lack of proper knowledge and education treat depressed patients like this, which ultimately increases their problems in diagnosis and treatments.

      People should be aware of this basic fact so as to provide much better room of comfort for patients with depression disorders.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Writer20: I am feeling so sad about hearing your situation and I will surely pray a lot for you and for your husband. Do not be worried, everything will be fine I hope.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      You are so right Hunbbel that depression is not a sign of weakness.

      Sadly many don't seek treatment because they think others will judge them as being weak.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      I went to my Dr. asked about depression bacause I've been feeling low and have barely written 2 stories this year. She told me that I'm going through a miserable time because of my husband's cancer.