Depression is a psychological condition characterized by unusually long periods of sadness, hopelessness, and, in severe cases, even thoughts of suicide. It is important to know that depression is a recognized physical and mental condition most likely related to an imbalance of chemicals (most notably serotonin and/or norepinephrine) in the brain.
This is relevant to body modification because body modification is sometimes used as a coping mechanism to deal with the feelings associated with depression. While not everyone in the medical community agrees that it is a healthy method of coping, it does indeed SAVE lives!
It is important to realize that, while depression can be partially due to environmental factors or recent unhappy or stressful events (such as a divorce, moving, or even a GOOD stress such as having a baby or getting married), it is considered to be a treatable medical condition.
Ways of successfully treating depression include practicing Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, which may include the use of antidepressants and/or other psychotropic drugs.