While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health.
Depression affects how people feel about themselves. They may lose interest in work, hobbies and doing things they normally enjoy. They may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate. Depression makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.
The encouraging news is that there is a range of treatments, health professionals and services available to help with depression, and there are many things that people with depression can do to help themselves.
There are different types of depressive disorders. Symptoms can range from relatively minor (but still disabling) through to very severe, so it is helpful to be aware of the range of disorders and their specific symptoms.
There is no one proven way that people recover from depression. However, there is a range of effective treatments and health professionals who can help people on the road to recovery. This is usually a combination of medical, psychological and self-help strategies.