Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Moods or emotions change with experience and environment, sometimes reflecting happiness and other times sadness. In emotionally healthy individuals, moods are controllable, but for people with mental depression, the mood itself is in control of both body and thoughts. Mental depression is a mood disorder characterized by specific symptoms that typically occur due to chemical alterations in normal brain functioning. Mentioned throughout history, depression harks back at least since the days of the Old Testament, when King Saul was said to have suffered from it, causing him to take his own life. The most common and readily identifiable symptom of a depressed person is sadness, melancholy, or despair; however, a person with clinical depression experiences more than transient sadness. Oftentimes it is a sense of exhaustion or a lack of any energy at all that signals the onset of mental depression. Mental depression is one of the clinically distinct depressive ...