In any given year, nearly 7% of the American population deals with clinical depression. This is a brain and mood condition that is far more involved than the occasional feelings of sadness, which are a universal part of the human experience.

The team at Hendricks Behavioral Hospital provides both inpatient care and intensive outpatient programs focused on depression. It’s our mission to help individuals living with this condition feel empowered and in more control of their lives.

What Is Depression

Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability for Americans between 14 and 44.3 years old—it’s far more common than many people realize. While several different types of depression exist—which can manifest during specific circumstances (e.g., postpartum, seasonal) or specific ages (e.g., teen depression)—the main feature of depression is a collection of signs and symptoms which negatively impact the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves.

Depression Signs and Symptoms

No two people with depression will present in the same way, but there are common signs and symptoms to be aware of:

  • Persistent feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, despair, or sadness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and helplessness
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Decreased interest in previously pleasurable activities or hobbies
  • Decreased energy and libido
  • Sleep and appetite disturbances (e.g., waking up and not being able to fall back asleep; eating or sleeping too much/too little)
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Impaired memory, decision-making, and attention
  • Thoughts of suicide and death, suicide attempts
  • Slowed speech and/or movement
  • Physical symptoms (e.g., back pain or digestive issues) with no obvious physical cause

The exact cause of depression isn’t always known, but genes, life experience, and some illnesses or medications are all thought to be contributing factors. To have an official diagnosis of major depressive disorder, other conditions (both mental and physical) must be ruled out, and symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks.


The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization which certifies health care organizations and programs across the U.S. Their seal is a symbol of quality in an organization’s commitment to meeting certain standards.

Hendricks Behavioral Hospital has been awarded the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of approval, which speaks to our dedication to ongoing quality care, patient safety, and best practices.