What is depression?

June 22, 2018

What is depression?

Depression is a lot more than just feeling ‘blue’ for a few days, it’s a low mood which lasts for a long time, and affects everyday life. It can range from feeling in low spirits, making it harder and less enjoyable to do anything, but at it’s severe end it can be life threatening, leading to suicidal thoughts.

Additionally, people suffering with depression may experience:

  • Changes in weight, due to over eating or under eating.
  • Problems with sleeping or oversleeping.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Feelings of worthlessness.
  • Feelings that nothing matters.
  • Unusually confused.
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others.

How is it caused?

There are many potential causes of depression, some examples are:

Childhood experience

Life events

Other mental health issues

Physical health problems

Genetic inheritance

Medication, drugs and alcohol

Sleep, diet and exercise


Are there different types of depression?

Absolutely, the diagnosis of depression may also identify the severity of the symptoms, ranging from mild, moderate, or severe. It’s important to remember that people may move between severity of symptoms in one episode of depression or across several different episodes.

Additionally, there are some specific types of depression:

Seasonal Affective Disorder


Prenatal depression 

Postnatal depression


How is depression treated?

There is often a combination of prescribed medicinal treatments such as antidepressants as well as therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy and other activities including physical activity, arts therapy, herbal pills and yoga.


Getting support


One of the organisations that can be accessed through the Dock is OnTrak, the local mental health counselling service. Aimed at young people aged 14-19, OnTrak works with young people who respond well to talk-based therapy.


Contact OnTrak through:


Tel 01793 464662

Find out more about OnTrak here:

Find more information on depression and many other mental health problems on Mind:


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