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The term "depression" is over-used today and when we are feeling sad and miserable we can assume that we are "depressed". All of us feel low and down in the dumps from time to time. It is normal for us to experience the full range or human emotions in response to situations and people we come into contact with in our lives.
Depression is characterised by a constant state of low mood and an aversion to activity. Depression causes us to suffer from negative feelings such as persistant sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, loss of confidence, guilt and irritability.
We may lose interest in activities that we previously enjoyed and experience disturbed sleep patterns, loss of energy, difficulty making decisions, concentrating and making decisions. How we feel emotionally affects us physically resulting in aches and pains and digestive problems.
We can find ourselves avoiding others and we may contemplate, plan or even attempt to commit suicide as a way of escaping from our feelings.
If you experience these symptoms regularly throughout the day and for longer than two weeks it is advisable to seek professional advice and help.