Depression is an incredibly common mental health problem, affecting around 1 in 10 people at some point during their lifetime.*
Depression goes much further than simply feeling fed up now and again. Everyone experiences periods of unhappiness occasionally, however often low mood will improve after a short period of time. Depression is characterised when feelings of sadness and hopelessness become persistent, and continue for weeks, months or even years.
It is important to seek help and advice if you feel you might be experiencing depression. The illness affects people in different ways depending on how severe it is. The most common symptoms include prolonged feelings of stress, unhappiness or anxiety, feeling tired constantly, losing interest in activities you used to enjoy, feeling tearful, losing appetite or sex drive, and experiencing various aches and pains.
The good news is that, with the right help and support, many people living with depression can make a full recovery. You might benefit from talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy if you are experiencing mild-moderate depression. Antidepressants can also be prescribed where necessary. Lifestyle changes such as doing more exercise, cutting down alcohol intake or eating more healthily can help people suffering with depression to cope better on a day-to-day basis.
For further information on depression, and details about where to seek help, can be found here.