What is Depression?
Depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel. It involves feelings of extreme despondency or dejection and is associated with a prolonged state of low energy levels and a general aversion to activity and socialising.
Sadly, depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness there are. According to Mental Health America (MHA) over 16 million Americans suffer from depression every year. In the EU the figure is higher still, with approximately 7% of its 512 million population reporting depressive symptoms in 2014. The World Health Organisation approximates that roughly 300 million people are affected by depression each year. For some, depression can lead to extreme distress and even suicide attempts. The WHO report that circa 800,000 people commit suicide each year and that suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst people between the ages of 15 and 29.
Almost everyone suffers from depression to some degree during their life time. Some people may be more susceptible to depression due to genetics or the environment they live in whereas others may find it easier to keep themselves upbeat. If you experience depressive symptoms for a duration of two-weeks or more, you may qualify for a diagnosis.