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Depression is a psychiatric disorder that affects mood, conduct, and overall wellbeing. Changes in appetite, shift in sleeping patterns, loss of sleep, and difficulty with concentration may all be present with depression. For at least two weeks, an individual must have signs and symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks to be diagnosed with depression. Depression can go away and come back if untreated, and can last weeks, months, or years. Many people with disabilities may have a difficult time participating in their daily lives, whether at school or work. People with depression have a greater risk of substance use abuse issues and death by suicide than the general population. Many health disorders are closely related to depression, or have depression as a common symptom. There are characteristics of schizophrenia in people with schizoaffective disorder, depression, or another mood disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder is a medical disorder triggered by the seasons' transition. During certain months of the year, people with seasonal affective disorder have signs and symptoms of either major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder only during those months. Among people with seasonal affective disorder, major depressive disorder is more common than bipolar disorder. The signs and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder in people with seasonal affective disorder are similar to those of significant depression, such as a lack of interest or pleasure in sports, a decrease in energy, a depressed mood, and low self-esteem. Most people with seasonal affective disorder, anxiety, and other symptoms appear in the fall and winter months and decline in the spring and summer months. Symptoms of bipolar disorder affecting affected people have alternating episodes of depression in the fall and winter months and mania in the spring and summer months. In about 10% of people with seasonal affective disorder, the disorder has the opposite seasonal pattern, occurring in the spring and summer months and stopping during the fall and winter months. Depressive disorder, depression, and mood persistency in about 40% of people with seasonal affective disorder, depressive episodes persist after winter and do not diminish in the summer months, resulting in a change in diagnosis to either major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. Individuals with seasonal affective disorder have another medical disorder, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, an eating disorder, anxiety disorder, or panic disorder.
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