A person who feels sad all the time, has unexplained crying spells,
or loses interest in usual activities may have major depression, a serious medical illness that should be distinguished from normal
temporary feelings of sadness after a loss, such as the death of a relative
or friend. Major depression affects 14 million persons in the United States
each year. The June 18, 2003, issue of JAMA is a theme issue
devoted to articles about depression.