A depressive disorder is a whole-body illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, feels about him or herself, and thinks about things. Occasionally being unhappy or in a blue mood is not an indication of a depressive disorder. Nor is it a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better.

Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression. During any one-year period, nearly 19 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness. Yet, treatment can alleviate symptoms in nearly 80 percent of cases.

The Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center has one of the strongest programs in the nation for mood disorders research and treatment. Our primary areas of interest are:

  • Neurobiology and psychopharmacology of depression and bipolar disorders
  • Evidence-based psychopharmacology and treatment algorithms in mood disorders
  • Functional brain imaging in major depressive and obsessive compulsive disorders

What Is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a scientific evaluation conducted by researchers and physicians in human volunteers to answer important medical questions about how an investigational treatment acts in the body, how it affects certain conditions and, equally important, its safety profile. Safety of the study participants is the primary concern of a clinical research study. Participation in research studies contributes to progress in medical research. To learn more about some of our current studies, visit the EMBARC or NIDA Clinical Treatment Network – Texas Node websites.