What is depression

What is depression? 

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Life has a habit of bringing you up only to knock you down. In fact, there are all times that we feel a bit low.  

It is common at these times to say that you are feeling “depressed” and whilst this is an accurate description of how you feel, it doesn’t mean that you are suffering from depression. 

We have put together these guides to explain more about depression so that you can understand how it can affect you and those around you.   

What is depression? 

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Depression is an extended period of low moods. These low moods will affect your ability to take pleasure and interest in everyday activities. 

One in ten people will be diagnosed as having depression at some point in their lives, making it one of the most common types of mental illness in the world.  

Anyone can get depression at any point in their lives and best of all, it is completely treatable once it is recognised and diagnosed. 

You cannot simply snap out of depression and it is not a sign of weakness or inability.  

The different types of depression 

You may not realise it but there are several types of depression; whether these are diagnosis or simply a term, they are all things that you may hear if you are diagnosed by your doctor. 

The most common forms of depression include: 

  • Clinical depression- this is often the term used by doctors 
  • Depressive Episode- used to example a short term period of depression often after a traumatic event and can also be related to reactive depression 
  • Recurrent depressive disorder- more than two depressive episodes will be categorised as recurrent depressive disorder 
  • Bipolar disorder- periods of extreme highs and lows 
  • Psychotic depression- this form of depression can go alongside hallucinations and delusions 
  • Postnatal depression- a common form of depression that 1 in 10 women will have after having a baby 
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)- a form of depression that affects you at the same time of year (often the winter)  

What are the signs of depression? 

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Now you know more about what depression is we are going to discuss the signs and symptoms that you or someone you love might be suffering. Here are the most common indicators: 

  • Feelings of hopelessness 
  • Lacking interest of usual daily activities 
  • Appetite changes 
  • Insomnia  
  • Irritability 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Reckless behaviour 

Hopefully this guide will help you to understand depression further and how you can look out for those tell-tale signs.  

If you are concerned about depression, then it is important to make sure you speak to a GP to discuss this further. They can provide you with guidance and advice which will help you to live your life fully and stop it having minimal impact on your everyday activities.

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