Depression is a serious illness that causes changes in mood, thinking, physical well-being and behavior. It can affect all aspects of your life. While the exact causes are unclear, it may involve many factors, such as biological differences, inherited traits and stressful life events. In some cases, it seems to happen with no identifiable cause. No matter what triggers it, depression is much more than grieving or a bout of the blues.
Depression may happen only once in a person’s life. However, it may occur repeatedly with depression-free periods in between, or it may be an ongoing condition. With proper treatment, most people with serious depression improve and return to normal, daily activities.
Why choose Mayo Clinic for depression
- Expertise and experience. At Mayo Clinic, a team of medical professionals will work with you to set goals, develop a customized treatment plan and monitor your progress. Mayo Clinic psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and other team members have extensive experience and expertise in treating mild to serious depression and other mood disorders. They also have experience treating depression that’s affected by other medical problems.
- Latest diagnostic and treatment options. Your treatment may include antidepressants, psychotherapy and other therapies if your depression is severe and prolonged. Mayo Clinic has developed a blood test to identify the genetic makeup of the cytochrome P450 enzymes, which break down (metabolize) medications. This test can help determine how your genes might affect your response to various antidepressant drugs. Doctors can also perform this test using a cheek (buccal) swab.
- Treatment for complicated cases. Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has a Mood Disorders Unit that provides inpatient treatment to adults whose depression significantly affects their functioning or safety. Also in Minnesota, the Mayo Mood Clinic, an outpatient program, evaluates and treats adults who have depression. For some people, treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be offered.
- Pediatric specialists. Pediatric specialists in psychiatry and psychology at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota offer inpatient and outpatient treatment for children and teens with depression.
- Latest research. Researchers continue to study a number of issues, such as new diagnostic and treatment tools, how genes may be linked to depression, and suicidal behaviors. Some people with depression may be able to participate in clinical trials.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for psychiatry by U.S. News & World Report.
Mayo Clinic: Answers you can trust
At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We’re constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.
Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they’ve never experienced.
Read more about depression.