What is depression? | Mind of the matter: Hear from the experts

Depression is, I think it's more than just feeling 
sad or down for a couple of days at a time. I think we all go through 
periods where we feel unhappy and we feel fed up at times, but I think 
depression is more so when those feelings and thoughts are sort of consistent and persistent 
and they affect your sort of everyday life. So we kind of think about it in maybe the 
milder sense of depression, so as I said, there's persistent feelings of sadness or 
feeling down all the time and whilst it may not be at the point where it's affecting your everyday 
life everything just feels a bit more difficult and then we kind of get to a point 
where depression is a bit more severe. These are the times where maybe it's more 
concerning because it can be life-threatening.

We know that people who are severely depressed 
can go on to experience suicidal thoughts and I think it's kind of being mindful and aware 
of that sort of persistent sadness and the impact that it can have in your everyday life.
I think it's important to to think about how depression is going to affect each individual 
person in particularly individual ways. So there are many sort of signs and symptoms. It can 
affect the way we think about ourselves and then sort of think about the world; so we might 
be sort of wracked with feelings of guilt or feeling quite worthless, or question our place 
in the world, or kind of have low self-esteem. It can impact our emotions, so feeling of 
uncontrollably sad, feeling quite upset, tearful. But it can also impact us physically and 
in terms of the way in which we behave. Feeling more tired for example and 
sometimes people experience a kind of loss of their sex drive, a loss of appetite.
And then in terms of how we interact or behave with the world we might become a bit more 
isolated or we might become a bit more withdrawn and all of those different symptoms, as I 
said, can sort of manifest in different ways for different people.

Again it's keeping 
a track of those symptoms and thinking how severe are am I experiencing this? How 
persistent is this sort of sadness? How long has this gone on? and What sort of impact is it 
having on my day-to-day life? So, is it affecting my relationships, affecting my ability to work, 
is it affecting my ability to sort of concentrate? And I think for each person they'll be able to to 
maybe recognise that at different points and so I think the the best thing to do is 
think about if you recognise that, if you recognise a change that doesn't seem 
to be going away after sort of days and months to get the right support and seek help for it.
Often I think there are kind of different sources of information that people can sort 
of interact with but thinking about getting the right help and at the right time it is vital.
Speak to your to your GP if you have concerns but then also think about well-known sources.
So for example MIND as a charity thinking about accessing their resources to 
develop your understanding of what might be going on for you and what you might be experiencing 
and how best to go about managing that

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