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What is Depression?

We often use the expression "I feel depressed" when we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually, these feelings pass in due course.


However, if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back, over and over again, for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you're depressed in the medical sense of the term.


In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life, but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, major depression (clinical depression) can be life-threatening, because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live

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Symptoms of Depression

Everyone’s experience of depression varies, but there are some common signs and symptoms, listed opposite.


It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression. When these symptoms are causing problems in your life, getting help can strengthen your ability to beat depression.

Symptoms of depression include but are not limited to:

  • Low Mood

  • Hopelessness

  • Lack of Motivation

  • Irritability

  • Crying

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Sleeplessness

  • Lethargy

  • Pessimism

  • Social withdrawal

  • Suicidal thoughts / Self harm

Note: Symptoms identified above may also signal other underlying health problems. It is always sensible to check with your GP

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