Most people feel depressed at some stage of their lives, but for some the feelings are more intense and last longer.
This type of depression doesn't just ‘go away', and telling the person to ‘cheer up' or ‘pull yourself together' doesn't help. It's not that simple.
But there is hope. Depression is a medical condition that can usually be treated. A doctor may prescribe medication or therapy - or a combination of the two.
The important point is to seek help.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Depressed mood - most of the day, every day
- Mood swings - one minute high, next minute low
- Lack of energy and loss of interest in life
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Irritability and restlessness
- Disturbed sleep patterns - sleeping too much or too little, insomnia
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
- Hopelessness, helplessness and self-blame
- Difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly
- Loss of sex drive
- Thoughts about death and the option of suicide
- Fatigue, feeling easily tired
- Feeling unwell without medical causes
- Anxious, agitated and restless, some may experience hallucinations
If someone you know suffers from depression that lingers:
Encourage them to see a doctor or healthcare professional
Be there for them. Read our how to help pages.