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Depression affects an individual’s behaviour and has physical, emotional and cognitive effects and lasts for at least two weeks.
Depression can also interfere with someone’s ability to work and have satisfying personal relationships.
What does depression feel like?
Depression is different to short-term emotional responses to challenges in everyday life.
It can cause morale to suffer greatly, affecting many areas of life and, at its worst, depression can lead to someone feeling suicidal.
Everything appears overwhelming. I struggle to cope with what’s going on around me or within me.
I feel I simply don’t know enough about life to function properly, as if everyone except me received a manual on how to be a human.
I lose confidence in my ability even to do those things that I can usually manage.
Depending on the severity of your depression, feelings relating to self-esteem, guilt or helplessness may become so low as to become disabling unless and until your depression is treated.
It's the trap that doesn't even have a lock. You're literally holding the doors shut tight, but don't know how to push them open anymore.
You may not be able to get out of bed, sleep, concentrate or interact effectively with some people, including family members, friends or colleagues, while your depression remains un-confronted.
Depression can sometimes also be one characteristic of other mental illnesses, including Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder (a mood disorder that affects some people in the winter).
Society’s attitude towards depression
Awareness is steadily increasing that depression can affect anyone at any time and that it can be managed through support and/or treatment.
Having said that, awareness that depression can affect anyone is not yet universal.
I was in my teenage years when I battled with my eating disorders and depression. I didn’t seek help or tell anybody for years because I had only ever heard about women or girls experiencing these problems.