Course and consequences of depression
While depression has sometimes been called the `` common cold'' of psychological disorders, such a label is misleading because it implies that suffering from depression is merely a bothersome but brief and mild inconvenience. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Depression may be so severe as to be lethal, and, for many if not most sufferers, it is a recurring or even chronic disorder. Moreover, its effects may be devastating to the individualÐnot only in suffering, but also in terms of the damaging effects on one's work, family, and marital relations. Indeed, the consequences to the lives of depressed people might even contribute environmental conditions that create the likelihood that depression will continue or recur. Therefore, in this chapter we explore the features of the course of depression, including its impairing consequences.