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Understanding Depression 1. The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments 16 of Depression Paula Anne Ford-Martin and Teresa G. Odle Depression is a group of mental illnesses char- acterized by a profound and persistent feeling of sadness or despair and/or a loss of interest in things that once were pleasurable. 2. There Are Many Kinds of Depression 26 Hara Estroff Marano Depression is often difficult to diagnose because the disease does not always fit neatly into diag- nostic categories. One type of depression, called atypical depression, is particularly challenging to diagnose. 3. Scientists Are Making Progress in 33 Understanding What Causes Depressive Disorders Norbert R. Myslinski Scientists are continually discovering more and more about the biochemical and physiological causes of depression. This is leading to an ever- increasing number of antidepressant treatments. 4. Deep Brain Stimulation Is a Promising 44 New Treatment for Depression Greg Mone Deep brain stimulation, a new type of brain sur- gery, offers hope to many people who suffer from severe and hard-to-treat depression. 5. Millions of American Men Silently Suffer 55 with Depression Julie Scelfo, Karen Springen, and Mary Carmichael Men generally have difficulty recognizing and admitting they are depressed. Their depression is often masked by alcoholism, anger, and other self-destructive behaviors. 6. Women Are More Likely than Men to 64 Suffer Depression National Institute of Mental Health Women's unique biology, psychology, and cul- tural roles make them susceptible to many forms of depression. Controversies About Depression 1. Depression Is a Disease 73 Peter D. Kramer Depression is not a requirement for creativity and intense feeling. It is a disease that society should eradicate. 2. Depression Is Not a Disease 78 Bruce E. Levine Depression is not a disease or a weakness. It is a normal reaction to overwhelming pain. 3. Antidepressants May Be Underprescribed 83 Jonathan Haidt Prozac and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can benefit many people. 4. Antidepressants Are Overprescribed 92 Deborah Kotz Antidepressants have become a "quick fix" to alleviate sadness. But medicating sadness delays the normal healing process. 5. Electroconvulsive Therapy Can Help Those 99 Who Are Depressed Jane E. Brody A new and improved electroconvulsive therapy is emerging as a beneficial, lifesaving treatment for some severely depressed people. 6. Electroconvulsive Therapy Is Harmful 105 Peter Breggin Electroconvulsive therapy can cause permanent brain damage. This harmful procedure should be banned. Personal Stories 1. Depression: My Hidden Disability 113 Adam Kahn A college student succeeds after battling depression. 2. Postpartum Depression Is a Cruel 121 Condition Alex Winter A woman tells of her experience with postpartum depression.