What is Depression?

The word ‘depression’ is often used to describe everyday feelings of low mood which can affect us all from time to time. Feeling sad or fed up is a normal reaction to experiences that are upsetting, stressful or difficult; those feelings will usually pass.

However Depression is not just feeling sad or upset, it is an illness which means that an intense feeling of persistent sadness or helplessness and is often accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, loss of energy or physical aches and pains.

How common is Depression?

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses of all and can affect people of all ages.
Women are twice as likely to have depression as men, although statistics point to men being more likely to commit suicide. This may be because men are more reluctant to seek help or treatment.

Why is it important to get treatment?

Severe depression can stop a person from coping with everyday life for weeks or even months. With treatment, they can learn to manage their symptoms and make a full recovery. Although the depression may return, it’s important that a person’s treatment focuses on how to manage their emotional life and so avoid the worst effects of the condition.

Useful Links

  • Depression
    UK charity providing information and support services to those who are affected by depression including a network of self help groups.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms on this page, please visit your GP as soon as possible.