Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_72

Introduction and Definition

Depression is deemed to be the most prevalent mental health condition affecting individuals worldwide and expected to become the second most significant cause of disease and disability by 2020. In medical and psychiatric discourse, depression is defined through an array of symptoms that last for more than 2 weeks, including moodiness that is out of character; increased irritability and frustration; finding it hard to take minor personal criticisms; spending less time with friends and family; loss of interest in food, sex, exercise, or other pleasurable activities; being awake throughout the night; increased alcohol and drug use; staying home from work or school; increased physical health complaints, such as fatigue or pain; being reckless or taking unnecessary risks; and slowing down of thoughts and actions.

Epidemiological researchers have reported that women outnumber men in lifetime prevalence of depression at a ratio that ranges from 2:1 to 4:1. At the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western Sydney, Centre for Health ResearchPenrithAustralia