Many health professionals classify depression as a “mood” disorder that affects a
person’s thoughts and feelings. A person with bipolar (episodes of depression) or manic
depression, swings wildly from frantic highs to numbing lows. A person with unipolar
depression (one or more episodes of depression) experiences only the lows. Both types of
depression cause major depressive episodes characterized by bleak moods, irritability, sadness,
pessimism, anger, anxiety, hostility, guilt and a conviction that their misery will never
end.(Contagious Emotions, 66-67.)
A major-depressive episode can occur at any age, but is usually first experienced by
people in their late twenties. Major depression is twice as common in women as in men.
(Happiness is a Choice, 17-20.)
Some factors that can increase a person’s susceptibility to an episode of depression are
chronic physical illness, alcohol, cocaine and other drugs, the death of a loved o...