Everyone has spells of feeling down, but depression is more than just spending a few days feeling sad or unhappy. Depression can make you feel persistently sad and down for weeks or months at a time.
While some people believe that depression is trivial or not a genuine health problem, it’s actually a real condition that affects around one in 10 people over the course of their lives. It impacts people of all genders and ages – including children. Studies show that around 4% of children in the UK between the ages of five and 16 are depressed or anxious.
With the right support and treatment, most people recover fully from depression.
Do I have depression?
Depression has a range of different symptoms, and it can affect everybody differently. The symptoms include feeling very tearful, feeling hopelessness and sadness, and losing interest in things you enjoyed before. It’s also common for people with depression to have symptoms of anxiety.
Physical symptoms happen with depression too – these can include feeling tired all the time, getting poor sleep, losing your sex drive, losing your appetite, and feeling aches and pains.
If the symptoms are mild, you might simply experience a persistent low mood. It’s common to feel stressed, sad or anxious during difficult times in your life, and a low mood can get better after a short time, rather than being a symptom of depression.
Learn more about low mood and depression here.
Severe symptoms of depression can make people feel suicidal