What is depression?

Depressive symptoms

Everyone experiences moments during which they feel down or sad. However, if these feelings persist and are present nearly everyday and during most of the day, we call this depression. Symptoms that someone with depression might experience include:

–  Depressed mood

–  Loss of interest or pleasure

–  Weight loss or gain

–  Sleep problems

–  Fatigue

–  Feelings of worthlessness

–  Feelings of guilt

–  Difficulty concentrating

–  Thoughts of death


Different options exist for the treatment of depression. In most cases psychotherapy is started first, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or behavioral activation therapy. This is sometimes combined with medication. Many different types of antidepressant medication exist. A GP or psychiatrist will decide the type and dose of antidepressant. If these treatments are insufficiently effective, other options exist. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the most effective treatment option available for depression. An epileptic seizure is induced by means of a short electrical stimulus that is applied to the scalp. This is done while the patient is under general anesthesia. A relatively new treatment is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). With rTMS the brain is stimulated using a strong magnetic field. rTMS is less invasive than ECT; no anesthetics are used and side effects are less in number and severity.


Radboud UMC

Afdeling Psychiatrie

route 975a, Huispostnummer 966

Reinier Postlaan 10 

6525 GC Nijmegen

Iris Dalhuisen uitvoerend onderzoeker

T 06-50098382

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Radboud UMC

Department of Psychiatry

route 975a, House number 966

Reinier Postlaan 10

6525 GC Nijmegen

Iris Dalhuisen researcher

T 06-50098382