Depression is more than just 'feeling a bit low'.
Everyone will have times when they feel sad, but depression lasts longer and is more severe. People with depression may lack energy, lose interest in things they usually enjoy or even have suicidal thoughts. Some people will have physical symptoms, like headaches or lack of sleep.
Depression usually comes in episodes, which can be mild, moderate, or severe. Some people will have only one episode of depression in their lifetime. Others may have recurrent episodes.
Sometimes there is an obvious reason for becoming depressed, sometimes not. Sometimes it can be hard to know if you are depressed.
There are lots of treatments available for depression. For some people, things like getting more exercise will help. Others will require talking therapy, such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy. Some people respond well to medication.
In severe cases, it may be helpful to spend some time in hospital.
Depression is very common, and most people who experience depression are able to lead fulfilling lives.
If you think you may be depressed, contact your GP or find out more on Mind's website.