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Depression is very common – one in five people become depressed at some point in their lives. Anyone can get low, but it’s said that someone is suffering from depression when these feelings don’t go away quickly or become so bad they interfere with their everyday life.

What does it feel like to be depressed?

The feeling of depression is deeper, longer and more unpleasant than the short episodes of unhappiness that everyone experiences occasionally. Common symptoms include:

• Persistent sadness or low mood
• Not being able to enjoy things
• Losing interest in life
• Finding it harder to make decisions
• Not coping with things that used to be easy
• Feeling exhausted
• Feeling restless and agitated;
• Loss of appetite and weight
• Difficulties getting to sleep
• Loss of sex drive
• Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

What causes depression?

• Genes – biological predisposition
• Life experience – bad experiences in the past, big changes in life, losses
• Drugs and alcohol
• Circumstances

What could help?

• Use self-help books and computer programs based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for depression.
• Tell someone how you feel.
• Try to keep active.
• Make sure you eat well.
• Be careful with alcohol, as it can make depression worse.

• Antidepressants