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Depression

You simply would not be human if you didnt have the odd occassion when your mood is low and feeling a little sad or miserable about life. Usually these feelings pass by in due course and simply dissapear.

In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It does not stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. However, at its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal.

But if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you are experiencing depression.
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Are there different types of depression?

If you are given a diagnosis of depression, you might be told that you have mild, moderate or severe depression. This describes what sort of impact your symptoms are having on you currently, and what sort of treatment you're likely to be offered. You might move between mild, moderate and severe depression during one episode of depression or across different episodes.

There are also some specific types of depression:

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – depression that occurs at a particular time of year, or during a particular season. 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 – depression that occurs during pregnancy. This is sometimes also called antenatal depression.
  • Postnatal depression (PND) – depression that occurs in the first year after giving birth.
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