What is depression?

Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life.

In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.

There are also some specific types of depression:

– Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – depression that usually (but not always) occurs in the winter. SAD Association provides information and advice. See our page on SAD for more information.

– Dysthymia – continuous mild depression that lasts for two years or more. Also called persistent depressive disorder or chronic depression.

– Prenatal depression – sometimes also called antenatal depression, it occurs during pregnancy.

– Postnatal depression (PND) – occurs in the weeks and months after becoming a parent. Postnatal depression is usually diagnosed in women but it can affect men, too.

Download the Mind brochure on how to cope with depression.



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