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Depression - symptoms, types, treatment

What is depression?

Depression is a mental health condition which can affect a person's ability to function.

If you feel sad for weeks on end, find yourself low on energy or motivation, or no longer enjoy doing things that used to interest you, you might be experiencing depression. It’s not necessarily about feeling sad.

Depression is often a numb feeling rather than sadness. Often it’s not something you can control or just get over like the ‘blues’. Depression can be a serious issue, but there’s treatment available that can help you feel better.

Causes of depression can include factors such as personality, family history, drug and alcohol abuse as well as life events or traumatic experiences.

There are a number of different types of depression, with distinct symptoms and causes. This means that there are different treatments for different types of depression.

If you or someone you know might be suffering depression, there’s a lot of help available. The first step is going to see your doctor, however you can also contact our partners beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or MindSpot for advice and support on next steps if going to see a doctor is not an option for you right now.


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Video Copyright: ©2013 University of Oxford. Used under licence from DIPEx. All rights reserved.

Last reviewed: August 2015

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