Everyone occasionally feels low, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. If you are affected by depression, you are not ‘just’ sad or upset. You have an illness which means that intense feeling of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness are accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy, or physical aches and pains. Clinical depression can feel overwhelming not only for the sufferer but for those around them.

It’s important to remember that somebody who is clinically depressed cannot simply will themselves to feel better or just “snap out of it.” If they do not receive appropriate treatment their symptoms can continue for weeks, months, or years.

Common symptoms of depression include tiredness and loss of energy, persistent sadness, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting, undue feelings of guilt or worthlessness, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, sleeping problems – difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual, avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends, finding it hard to function at work/college/school, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive and/ or sexual problems, physical aches and pains, self-harm, thinking about suicide and death.

If you have experienced four or more of these symptoms, for most of the day nearly every day, for over two weeks, then you should seek help. Psychological therapy can enable to you better manage and improve your mood.

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