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Major depression is a serious illness which affects your entire life. It is characterised by a number of invasive symptoms:

When depressed, your mood may be depressed or irritable. You may find that you have lost interest in important activities. Your sleep may be disturbed and you may find changes in your appetite. Your ability to concentrate may be impaired and you may find it hard to make decisions. You could find that your sense of self-worth has been eroded and you may find it hard to settle down to do something. You may have little energy and find that you are taking longer to do things, even think. When very severe, you may find getting up hard to do and even taking care of your own hygiene may feel too much for you. You may think of death a lot and contemplate suicide. You may have plans for committing suicide.

Depression often runs in families. You may be predisposed to it and when experiencing a lot of environmental demands find that you start to present with symptoms.

Depression is largely treatable and it is worth your while to seek help. Untreated, it can continue for a very long time. When you tell your doctor that you feel like this, he or she will check that you do not have any other illness. There are a number of other conditions which can present with very similar symptoms. He or she may prescribe an anti-depressant. It is a good idea to also see a psychologist as there are treatment approaches, mainly cognitive-behavioural therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy which give good results in treating depression and preventing future episodes.