The Meaning of Depression: What It Is and How To Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

Have you ever felt depressed or suffered from clinical depression? You or someone you love have probably felt depressed at one time or another, but this feeling is distinct from clinical depression. This article will explain exactly what depression is and what causes it. Then, it will cover symptoms of depression and how to treat depression.

Finally, we will go over some topics that are related to depression, like how to say depression in other languages, synonyms, and antonyms. 

What Does Depression Mean?

According to the NIH (National Institute of Health) and the American Psychiatric Association, depression is a type of mental illness. Biologically, depression is when you have low amounts of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain. Depression is listed as one of many mental illnesses in the DSM-5.

Depression could also be a symptom of other medical conditions and mental disorders like PMS, PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), bipolar disorder, postpartum depression (AKA the “baby blues”), or seasonal affective disorder.

Clinical depression is prevalent in adolescents and older adults. Types of depression range from mild depression to severe depression or major depression. 

Depression is able to manifest itself in many different ways, and depression can look different to everyone. Never assume that someone is doing fine, and make sure to check on your friends and family.

The Causes of Depression

Some people might go through a depressive episode due to life events like the loss of a family member, friend, loved one, or pet. Some people become lonely and isolated, which can lead to depression. Other people might become depressed due to work or unemployment. 

However, this persistent depressive disorder may have no definable cause and simply be due to an imbalance of serotonin. In these cases, making changes in one’s life may not help with depression, and further treatment or medication may be necessary.

The Symptoms of Depression

Take a look at the below list of possible symptoms of depression. Some people will have several of these, while others may only have one or two.

  • A decrease in energy or an increase in fatigue
  • Physical symptoms like sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death
  • Having trouble concentrating o remembering things
  • Having to move or talk more slowly
  • Having difficulty sleeping, waking up, or oversleeping
  • A loss of interest or joy in hobbies and activities
  • Experiencing feelings of irritability, hopelessness, guilt, pessimism, low self-esteem, worthlessness, restlessness, or helplessness
  • Sudden aches, pains, cramps, headaches, or digestive problems that are untreatable and have no cause
  • A consistent anxious, sad, numb, or empty mood

Suicide prevention is extremely important. If you, a family member, or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, contact a mental health professional or suicide hotline. 

Treatment of Depression

There are various ways that a mental healthcare provider of psychology or psychiatry might treat depression. These include antidepressant medication like SSRIs, talk therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), transcranial magnetic stimulation, or other forms of psychotherapy. 

Make sure to discuss potential side effects when thinking about medication.

What Are Translations of Depression?

Sadly, people all over the world experience depression. If you work overseas or have friends in other countries, it might be useful to know how to say the word depression in other languages. 

You can reference this list of translations of the word depression from Nice Translator to learn how to communicate about depression with people worldwide. 

  • Swedish: depression
  • Arabic: كآبة
  • Amharic: ድብርት
  • Czech: Deprese
  • Serbian: депресија
  • Vietnamese: Phiền muộn
  • Marathi: औदासिन्य
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 沮喪
  • Basque: depresio
  • Ukrainian: депресія
  • Catalan: depressió
  • Estonian: depressioon
  • Hungarian: depresszió
  • Portuguese (Portugal): depressão
  • Dutch: depressie
  • Chinese (PRC): 沮丧
  • Thai: ภาวะซึมเศร้า
  • Italian: depressione
  • Spanish: depresión
  • Lithuanian: depresija
  • Croatian: depresija
  • Gujarati: હતાશા
  • Finnish: masennus
  • Turkish: depresyon
  • Bengali: বিষণ্ণতা
  • Slovak: depresia
  • Hebrew: דִכָּאוֹן
  • Icelandic: Þunglyndi
  • Russian: депрессия
  • Portuguese (Brazil): depressão
  • Malayalam: നൈരാശം
  • Telugu: డిప్రెషన్
  • Tamil: மனச்சோர்வு
  • Welsh: iselder
  • Urdu: ذہنی دباؤ
  • Greek: κατάθλιψη
  • French: la dépression
  • Japanese: うつ
  • Slovenian: depresija
  • Romanian: depresie
  • Latvian: depresija
  • German: Depression
  • Bulgarian: депресия
  • Polish: depresja
  • Swahili: huzuni
  • Indonesian: depresi
  • Hindi: डिप्रेशन
  • Norwegian: depresjon
  • Kannada: ಖಿನ್ನತೆ
  • Malay: kemurungan
  • Danish: depression
  • Filipino: pagkalumbay
  • Korean: 우울증

What Are Synonyms of Depression?

Depression is a mental health condition with definitive symptoms. To talk about other words for depression, you can use this list of synonyms of depression from Power Thesaurus

How many of these synonyms of depression do you already know? Many of these have a negative connotation.

  • anguish
  • basin
  • blues
  • cavity
  • concavity
  • crater
  • decline
  • dejection
  • dent
  • depressed
  • desolation
  • despair
  • desperation
  • despondency
  • dimple
  • dip
  • discouragement
  • dispiritedness
  • distress
  • doldrums
  • dolefulness
  • downheartedness
  • downturn
  • dumps
  • economic crisis
  • ennui
  • funk
  • gloom
  • gloominess
  • glumness
  • grief
  • heartache
  • hole
  • hollow
  • hopelessness
  • impression
  • imprint
  • indentation
  • low spirits
  • malaise
  • melancholia
  • melancholy
  • misery
  • mournfulness
  • pain
  • pessimism
  • pit
  • recess
  • recession
  • sadness
  • slump
  • sorrow
  • stagnation
  • trough
  • unhappiness
  • valley
  • woe
  • wretchedness

What Are Antonyms of Depression?

Power Thesaurus also provides us with many antonyms of depression, many of which have a positive connotation.

  • amusement
  • animation
  • bliss
  • blissfulness
  • blitheness
  • bulge
  • buoyancy
  • carefreeness
  • cheer
  • cheerfulness
  • cheeriness
  • cloud nine
  • comfort
  • confidence
  • contentedness
  • contentment
  • convexity
  • day
  • delight
  • economic sustainability
  • ecstasy
  • effervescence
  • elation
  • elevation
  • encouragement
  • enjoyment
  • euphoria
  • exhilaration
  • exuberance
  • exultation
  • felicity
  • fun
  • gaiety
  • gladness
  • glee
  • good cheer
  • good spirits
  • gratification
  • happiness
  • heaven
  • high spirits
  • hope
  • hopefulness
  • humor
  • hump
  • increase
  • jollity
  • joviality
  • joy
  • joyfulness
  • joyousness
  • jubilation
  • light-heartedness
  • merriment
  • mirth
  • optimism
  • paradise
  • party
  • peak
  • pleasure
  • pride
  • protuberance
  • rapture
  • recovery
  • satisfaction
  • seventh heaven
  • surge
  • well-being


Depression is a mental health condition or a symptom of another condition. Major depressive disorder is a mood disorder with symptoms like a lack of interest in hobbies or activities or a generally sad or listless mood. If you are experiencing depression or other mental health conditions, contact a mental health professional.


Depression synonyms – 2 322 Words and Phrases for Depression | Power Thesaurus

Depression antonyms – 987 Opposites of Depression | Power Thesaurus 

NIMH » Depression | National Institute of Heath NIH

Depression | APA 

Depression | Nice Translator