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.