WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Different types of depression often have slightly different symptoms and may require different treatments. Several mental health disorders have depression as a key feature, including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, dysthymic disorder, cyclothymic disorders and seasonal affective disorder.
Depression is not just feeling sad
While we all feel sad, moody or ‘low’ from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health. On average, one in six people – one in five women and one in six men – will experience depression at some stage of their lives.
Research suggests that continuing difficulties – such as long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, or prolonged exposure to stress at work – are more likely to cause depression than recent life stresses. However, recent events (such as losing a job) or a combination of events can trigger depression in people who are already at risk because of past bad experiences or personal factors.