Depression is a mood disorder. Emotional states like sadness, ‘feeling blue’ or tearfulness are part of normal human experience. Clinical depression is called Major Depression and is characterised by the presence for at least two weeks of symptoms such as depressed mood, diminished interest and pleasure in most activities, change in appetite and weight (these can be increased or decreased) sleep disturbance, fatigue, bodily symptoms (headache, backache etc) poor concentration, feelings of anxiousness, worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, and suicidal ideation.
Depression is a common disorder and about 10-20 % of the population in New Zealand will suffer from depression during their lifetime.
Once depression has been diagnosed by your GP/Psychiatrist, it can be effectively treated by:
- Antidepressant medication
- Psychological interventions e.g. counselling (various types) and psychotherapy (talking therapy which is of various types).