We all have periods when our mood is low, and we’re feeling sad or unhappy about life. These feelings usually pass over time and we get back to being ourselves.
Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your daily life. The feeling of depression is deeper, longer lasting and more unpleasant than the short periods of unhappiness that everyone experiences occasionally.
Anyone can get low, but someone is said to be suffering from depression (or depressed) when these feelings don’t go away quickly or become so bad they interfere with their everyday life.
Some people describe feeling or depression as ‘being under a dark cloud’ or ‘feeling like drowning - no matter how hard you try to fight back’
Milder forms of depression can mean just being in low spirits. It may not prevent you leading your normal life but it can make everything seem harder to do and feel less worthwhile.
At its most severe, however, depression can make your life very difficult to manage. It can affect the relationships you have with family and friends. It may interfere you’re your school and your social life. And for some people it can be so bad that they lose the will to do anything.
Depression is actually very common, with one in five people become depressed at some point in their lives. Most people manage to pull through their depression with support from therapists, and in more serious cases, medication may be prescribed to help cope with the symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms of Depression
Common symptoms may include:
- Persistent Sadness or Low Mood
- Losing interest in life
- Not being able to Enjoy Things
- Feeling restless and agitated
- Finding it harder to make Decisions
- Loss of Appetite and Weight
- Difficulties getting to Sleep
- Thoughts of Self-Harm or Suicide
- Feeling Exhausted Loss of Sex Drive
- Not coping with things that used to be easy
- Aches and Pains
- Becoming withdrawn –Tearful or Ratty
- Changes to menstrual cycle
- Avoiding friends, family and regular activities
- Becoming moody and irritable - Easily upset
- Alcohol or Substance misuse
Why do people get depressed?
Sometimes there may be an obvious reason for becoming depressed, sometimes not. The reason may seem obvious – a relationship breakdown, a traumatic experience or life changing event.
It can also be brought on by an illness, bereavement or even the birth of a child. Even things like the pressures of studies and exams, bullying and abuse. Sometimes it is not clear. Either way, these feelings can become so bad that you need help.