Depression is not just “having a bad day”. It is more prolonged and persistent than what we experience normally. If we are feeling down and it is interfering with our ability to get on with our day-to-day lives it may be useful to seek support from a G.P., a counsellor or a support organisation. You may have what is commonly known as “clinical depression” if:

  • The low mood or symptoms of depression last for two weeks or more, and
  • The symptoms interfere with your everyday life, causing an inability to carry out daily activities.

“Clinical depression” can be a serious development in a person’s life, as it can impact on health, wellbeing, relationships and work. It is very important that in the first instance, it is correctly identified. This is because depression could also be part of a physical condition or be a feature of another mental health problem. When correctly assessed, it means that the correct approaches to recovery or support can then follow.

Common symptoms of depression include physical as well as mental changes:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, emptiness, pointlessness
  • Irritability, angry outbursts and negativity
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in daily activities and in the things you normally enjoy
  • Difficulty concentrating – restlessness and agitation
  • Marked anxiety and indecisiveness
  • Lack of motivation, loss of confidence and avoiding responsibilites
  • Sleep distruptionand insomnia or having unrestful sleep
  • Comfort eating or decrease in appetite, no enjoyment in food
  • Tiredness or fatigue with no physical cause
  • Loss of vitality, sex drive
  • Turning more to alcohol, cigarettes or other substances to cope
  • Thoughts of self-harm, wishing to be dead or thoughts of suicide.
  • Men and women often show depression in quite different ways, so do younger and older people.  It is often quite hard for the person to recognise it in themselves, and even family or close friends don’t see it. Sometimes the person is blamed by others for the change in their behaviour, or even feel they deserve to feel like that.
  • It’s important to remember that we should know what to look for and be open minded so that depression is not missed. Overlooking the chance to get this right can cost you or your loved one a huge price in personal happiness and wellbeing not to mention the huge impact on health, relationships, career and success.


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