What is depression?

According to the people at helpguide.org, feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life.  But when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and just won’t go away, you may have depression. More than just sadness in response to life’s struggles and setbacks, depression changes how you think, feel, and function in daily activities. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Just trying to get through the day can be overwhelming.

While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men can feel angry and restless. Whatever way you experience depression, left untreated it can become a serious health condition. But it’s important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depression—not the reality of your situation.

No matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. By understanding the cause of your depression and recognizing the different symptoms and types of depression, you can take the first steps to feeling better and overcoming the problem.  Talk to your doctor about depression.

Here’s what you can say to help someone, in talking about depression:

  • “You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.”
  • “I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.”
  • “Tell me what I can do now to help you.”

The above information was sourced from HelpGuide.org, a non-profit mental health and wellness website. Their stated mission is to provide empowering, evidence-based information that you can use to help yourself and your loved ones.