…the same as occasional sadness or “the blues”. Everyone feels down or low at some stage, but when these lows last for long periods of time and affect your day-to-day life and behaviour, you may have depression – a serious medical illness. Depression cannot be wished away and it is not possible just to “pull yourself together”. But with the right support and help, most people experience relief of symptoms, while 60% recover fully.
Did you know?
Depression is a disorder of the brain. The exact causes can be difficult to pinpoint, but brain chemistry, hormones, genetics and life events could play a role. Interestingly, women are affected twice as often as men. Throughout life, women are more susceptible to hormone fluctuations (think PMS, pregnancy and menopause) – a factor that is thought to increase their risk for depression.
Do you suspect that you might have depression? See your doctor as soon as you can. And seek help immediately if you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide.
If you have more than mild depression, your doctor will most probably discuss: