Para leer en Español, haga clic aquí.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that occurs when feelings associated with sadness and hopelessness continue for long periods of time and interrupt regular thought patterns. It can affect your behavior and your relationship with other people. Depression doesn’t discriminate—it can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion. In 2012, an estimated 16 million adults experienced depression, according to the NIH.


It’s normal for survivors to have feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and hopelessness. If these feelings persist for an extended period of time, it may be an indicator of depression. Depression is not a sign of weakness and it’s not something you should be expected to “snap out of.” It’s a serious mental health condition and survivors can often benefit from the help of a professional.

When should I get help?

You might have a difficult time coming forward about the possibility of depression because you think you’re just “feeling down.” If these feelings are interfering with your daily life, know that there is help available.


Where can I find help and learn more?

Learn more about depression from the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

To find a mental health facility or program, you can use the Mental Health Treatment Locator function from the The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Find the center that is closest to you and best fits your needs.


To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at


Please note that content on this site does not constitute medical advice and RAINN is not a medical expert. If after reading this information you have further questions, please contact a local healthcare professional or hospital.

Related Content

How Can Therapy Help?

If you decide to seek support from a therapist after sexual assault or abuse, you may have some questions. That’s perfectly normal. Working with a therapist can help you deal with some of the challenges you may be facing.

Read More

Self-Care After Trauma

Whether it happened recently or years ago, self care can help you cope with the short- and long-term effects of a trauma like sexual assault.

Read More

Help Someone You Care About

There are many ways that you can help a friend or family member who has been affected by sexual violence.

Read More

Free. Confidential. 24/7.

Get Help

More than 87 cents of every $1 goes to helping survivors and preventing sexual violence.

Donate Now