Depression is much more than simple unhappiness. Clinical depression, sometimes called major depression, is a "mood disorder" that is a significant mental health problem.
The main symptom of depression is a sad, despairing mood that:
- is present most days and lasts most of the day
- lasts for more than two weeks
- impairs the person's performance at work, at school or in social relationships.
Other symptoms of depression may include:
- changes in appetite and weight
- sleep problems
- loss of interest in work, hobbies, people or sex
- withdrawal from family members and friends
- feeling useless, hopeless, excessively guilty, pessimistic or low self-esteem
- agitation or feeling slowed down
- trouble concentrating, remembering and making decisions
- crying easily, or feeling like crying but being not able to
- thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously)
- a loss of touch with reality, hearing voices (hallucinations) or having strange ideas (delusions).