Depression Information

Feeling blue


A therapist serving both children and adults, Alyssa Mandel helps people experiencing depression and other mental health issues as director of the Mandel Center of Arizona. In preparation for her career, Alyssa Mandel earned her master of social work from Columbia University.

A serious and widespread illness, depression is a type of mood disorder that negatively impacts fundamental parts of people’s lives, including thinking, feeling, eating, and working. Rather than one monolithic mental illness, depression is a category of illness that encompasses several distinct conditions.

Each depressive illness has a similar range of symptoms. People may have depression if they feel persistently sad or worthless. Moreover, patients struggling with depression often experience fatigue and either sleep too much or too little. Suicidal thoughts also can occur in people with depression.

If a person feels depressed most of the time, doctors may diagnose that person with major depression, and if the depression persists for two or more years, doctors may diagnose that person with persistent depressive disorder. Other kinds of depression include seasonal affective disorder, a kind of depression associated with the winter, and postpartum depression, a condition that occurs following childbirth.