Depression is often an illness. If you're depressed, the usual feelings of sadness that we all experience temporarily remain for weeks, months and years. They can be so intense that daily life is affected. You can’t work normally, you don’t want to be with your family and friends, and you stop enjoying the things you usually do.
If you're depressed, you may feel worthless, hopeless and constantly tired. In most cases, if you have milder depression, you can probably carry on but will find everyday tasks difficult. If you have severe depression, you may find your feelings so unbearable that you start thinking about suicide.
About one in 10 of us develops some form of depression in our lives, and one in 50 has severe depression. It affects not only those with depression, but also their families and friends.
The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most depressed people make a full recovery. It’s important to seek help from your GP if you think you may be depressed.
If you're feeling suicidal or in a crisis of depression, contact your GP as soon as possible.
If you can't, or don’t want to speak to your GP about it, contact the Samaritans on 08457 909090. The lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Alternatively, visit the Samaritans website or email email@example.com.
Use this guide to find out more about depression, what you can do, and how the NHS can help.