Life events cause normal mood to fluctuate around an average resulting in feelings of happiness or contentment and feelings of sadness or disappointment throughout life depending on circumstances. Sometimes you may needs support during these times.
However, some people experience more extreme mood fluctuations which can interfere with their ability to engage in their normal routine. Depression is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness that remain despite what is going on in the person's life.
There are two main types of depression that are based on the severity of the symptoms and how long the depression lasts. These two types of depression Major Depression and Peristant Depression (formally called dysthymia).
It is important to differentiate between depression versus grief due to the loss of a loved one. Bereavement takes many forms and can persist for several months before the individual begins to fully engage in his or her normal routine again. A diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, however, may be warranted if the person continues to experience significant depressive symptoms beyond 2 months after the loss. If the person experiencing bereavement is struggling with suicidal thoughts it is important that he or she consult his or her family physician and can benefit from psychotherapy to help work through the loss.