Depression currently affects more than 15% of the population overall, and it is striking people at increasingly younger ages. Depression is all too familiar, yet this condition remains shrouded in mystery, confusion, and fear. What is depression, exactly? How is it different from sadness? It is said that depression is a “chemical imbalance,” but what does that really mean? Which chemicals are involved, and how are they imbalanced? Why is it that just as more research and treatment resources have been poured into combating depression, its personal and economic toll has actually grown? What, then, is fueling the epidemic of depression? Is there anything that can be done to stop it? This book cuts through the confusion to address the core of these and other matters. It offers a practical research synthesis that bridges clinical science, clinical practice, and everyday life. Written in the pithy, straightforward style of Oxford University Press’ What Everyone Needs to Know series, this book is the essential go-to guide both for understanding what we know about the causes of depression and the depression epidemic and for learning what to do about it; the book includes material on how to recognize depression in yourself, a family member, or a friend and how to navigate life after depression. Written for all those who struggle with depression, their loved ones, mental health professionals, and the wider public, this book offers guidance for navigating the bewildering marketplace of treatment options and combatting the misinformation and myths that still surround this condition.