What Is Depression?

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About Depression

What Is Depression?

Depression is a disorder characterised by low mood and a wide range of other possible symptoms, which will vary from person to person. This illness can develop quickly or gradually, and be brought on by life events and/or changes in body chemistry, and it is often accompanied by feelings of anxiety. It can strike anyone, and is manageable in very many cases.


What Are The Signs Of Depression?

The signs of depression are many, because this soul-destroying illness affects each person differently, and in its degree of severity. You may be suffering from depression if, for a long time, you experience several of the following symptoms:

Image does not depict a member of D-UK

Image does not depict a member of D-UK

  • Sadness and feeling weepy.
  • Numbness, lethargy and a loss of interest in things and activities you used to enjoy.
  • Wanting to hide away from people, perhaps even by staying in bed.
  • Constant tiredness and problems sleeping.
  • Loss of appetite, or eating to excess for the comfort it may bring.
  • Stress and frustration.
  • Irritability and aggression.
  • Feeling that you cannot cope.
  • Inability to see any glimmer of a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
  • Asking yourself what the point of living is.

Who Should You Turn To For Help?

If you have several of the above symptoms then, you need to recognise that you may be suffering from depression and you may need to seek medical help for it.

If things are so bad that you do not want to live anymore, then you must contact a doctor or the Samaritans. Also take a look at our National Links and further Useful Links pages.

If you choose to do nothing about your depression, then it is possible that not only will this insidious illness continue to trouble you; it may well upset the people who are close to you. Furthermore, any children you may have could be affected more than you realise by your depression, both now and in their later years.

Bluebells at RHS Ryton

With the right help and support, many people do recover from the worst of their depression.

They do find ways of facing up to their problems, and do get back to living normal and happy lives again.

Our members are either present or past sufferers from depression, and know exactly what that “hurt” is like. They know first-hand how depression is different from simply feeling “low and miserable“, “down in the dumps“, or just “browned off“.

Nevertheless, depression always hurts sufferers, and may hurt those close to them because they are unlikely to understand the illness and how it affects people.

Once a doctor diagnoses depression, some people may be prescribed medication, and a small minority of these may have to spend time in hospital or receive professional counselling.

Others may be helped by talking their problems over with close friends, by using our services, or organisations such as those listed in either our National Links or Useful Links pages.

Several members have pointed out that they have also benefited by keeping their minds and bodies as active as possible.


How Can We Help You?


Two ladies chatting over coffee

We encourage you to talk to someone…

Instead of simply “bottling things up”, it helps when we talk over our worries with a person who will listen sympathetically to us.

Depression UK would encourage you to talk to someone. You would be able to share your problems anonymously with fellow sufferers by means of our Newsletter, Pen, Phone and Chat services.

Fellow sufferers will very probably sympathise and understand your feelings and, in a friendly and non-professional way, encourage you to fight your illness.

You may even find a friend with whom you could continue to communicate with over a period of time, thus giving you the reassurance of knowing that there is always someone out there whom you could turn to, should the need arise.

So Our Message To You Is:


  • It may prove to be hard going, but most people learn to manage their condition.
  • Recovered? Why not Join Us and help others with the benefit of your story and experiences.

“We promote mutual support between individuals affected by or at risk from depression.”