Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings do not last for long and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common and serious illness. Most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
The exact cause of depression is not known. Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical changes in the brain. This may be due to a problem with your genes or triggered by certain stressful events. More likely it is a combination of both. Some types of depression run in families. But depression can also occur if you have no family history of the illness. Anyone can develop depression including kids.
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. They range from lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and complaining of various aches and pains. The severity of the symptoms can vary. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while at its most severe depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety during difficult times. It is important to seek professional medical help and advice if you think you may be depressed. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can be on the way to recovery.