Depression is a severe and
prolonged state of mind in which normal sadness grows into a painful
state of hopelessness, listlessness, lack of motivation and fatigue.
It can vary from mild to severe. When depression is mild, you find
yourself brooding on your own negative aspects or those of others.
You may feel resentful, irritable or angry much of the time, feeling
sorry for yourself, and feeling that you need reassurance from
someone. You may suffer various physical complaints that do not seem
to be caused by any physical illness.
However, as depression worsens, feelings of
extreme sadness and hopelessness combine with low self-esteem,
guilt, and memory and concentration difficulties to bring about a
severely painful state of mind. To make things worse, you may
experience changes in basic bodily functions. The usual daily
rhythms seem to go 'out of kilter'. You can't sleep, or you sleep
too much. You can't eat, or you eat too much. Others may notice that
you are agitated or slowed down, and you find that your energy for
activities you used to enjoy has hit 'rock bottom'. You may even
feel that life is not worth living, and begin to get thoughts that
you'd be better off dead.