What is depression?

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.

Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together".

What does it feel like?

They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.

The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.

Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.

If you are experiencing some of these feelings above, you can complete a self-assessment on this page

Can I overcome depression?
Treatment for depression can involve a combination of lifestyle changes, talking therapies and medicine. Your recommended treatment will be based on whether you have mild, moderate or severe depression.

If you have mild depression, your doctor may suggest waiting to see whether it improves on its own, while monitoring your progress. This is known as "watchful waiting". They may also suggest lifestyle measures such as exercise and self-help groups.

Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), are often used for mild depression that is not improving, or moderate depression. Antidepressants are also sometimes prescribed.

For moderate to severe depression, a combination of talking therapy and antidepressants is often recommended. If you have severe depression, you may be referred to a specialist mental health team for intensive specialist talking treatments and prescribed medicine.

Leaflets and guidebooks
Depression and Low Mood- Easy read information
In this leaflet from the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, they explain what the signs of depression and low mood are and tell you some things that might help you feel better.

Depression and Low Mood - An NHS self help guide
In this self-help guidebook from the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, they provide information on: what depression is and the signs/symptoms you may experience if you are depressed, what causes depression, what research tells us about depression, what treatment is available and further help/resources. Click here for the Accessibility and Translation version

Webinars
We have a range of free webinars available for you to book a place or watch back if you missed it, click here for a look

Source: www.nhs.uk
Was this article helpful?
Cancel
Thank you!