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Depression health centre

Depression overview

About one in 10 people, possibly more, in the UK will experience depression during their lifetime. However, the exact number is hard to estimate because many people do not get help, or are not formally diagnosed with the condition. When sadness and other symptoms of depression are intense and last for long periods of time, they can signal clinical depression or major depression, a serious medical illness that needs professional care.

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What is depression?

Depression is a mental health condition where a person has a long lasting low mood, and/or may lose pleasure or interest in activities.



Other symptoms of depression include:

  • A depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
  • Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day, a condition called anhedonia that can be indicated by a subjective account or by observations of significant others
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death)
  • A sense of restlessness known as psychomotor agitation, or being slowed down, retardation
  • Significant weight loss or gain

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