Have you ever felt blue? You were just really down and you were just sad. Was it feeling sad or depression? And, should you take it seriously? A lot of people cast off depression as nothing, like it is just something everyone goes through. While that is partly true, (Almost 18.8 million American adults experience depression each year, and women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop major depression) depression is a serious mental disorder and is not something that you can just “get over.” You ca tell when someone is going through a depression when, they have been sad for longer than two weeks, depressed mood, sadness, or an “empty” feeling, or appearing sad or tearful to others, loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed, significant weight loss when not dieting, or significant weight gain (for example, more than 5% of body weight in a month), inability to sleep or excessive sleeping, restlessness or irritation (irritable mood may be a symptom in children or adolescents too), or feelings of “dragging”, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt, difficulty thinking or concentrating, or indecisiveness, or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide. Possible causes of depression include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. Increasingly, research suggests these factors may cause problems in brain function, including abnormal activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start. Your doctor can screen you for depression, and help you manage and treat your symptoms so that you can feel better.