What is Depression

What is Depression? is a question that is asked many times through this website.

There are many different types of depression and many different things that can cause depression

When looking at 'what is depression', we will first take a look at a definition:

Depression Definition

'Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.'

(World Health Organisation, WHO)

The definition of depression may mean something different to each person, however this is the recognized definition of depression as stated by WHO.

It is important to realize that while this definition is true in the most general sense, there are many different types of depression recognized by mental health care professionals, and all of them differ in terms of specific symptoms and causes.

On a general level however, depression is a mental health disorder that can affect every aspect of your life. It can change the way you sleep, the way you deal with other people, and the way you view life in general. It is an all-pervasive condition that is very different from a passing mood - something that does not simply go away, nor is it a sign of personal weakness or lack of courage.

Depression will affect every aspect of your life to some degree. Your body, mind, almost every individual thought you have is affected by depression, and it is not something that you can simply ‘snap out of’. Without suitable treatment, symptoms of depression can last for months or years, and the severity of the symptoms can also vary extremely widely.

Facts About Depression

When looking at the all important question ‘What is Depression’ we should also take a good look at some of the facts about depression.
  • Depression is extremely common
  • Everyone will be affected by depression at a point in their lives; whether they are suffering from it or someone around them
  • Women are more likely to suffer from depression
  • Up to 10% of the population can be suffering from depression at any point
  • Under 25% of those who are affected will not have access to the treatment needed, though even if they do have access, many people consider depression a weakness (which it is NOT, it is an illness to be taken very seriously) and are embarrassed to seek help (all those suffering from depression should seek help from your GP’s or a counsellor or other qualified person)

Types of Depression

There are different types of depression and all of them could have different causes and different symptoms

Before considering treatment it is important to recognise what type of depression you are suffering from. It is important to learn as much as you can about what you are suffering from in order to understand why it is happening.



Read about one womans struggle with depression and the 5 steps she took to beat it.

If you think you may be suffering with depression,  you might want to consider taking an online depression test.


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