Everyone feels unhappy at some time or another. Feelings of sadness are a normal part of everyday life. However, such feelings become abnormal if they are persistent and intrude into a person’s social, occupational, and personal activities. The test of ‘normality’ is whether a person is distressed by the feelings and whether they make it impossible for the person to function as he or she would like. If so, the person can be described as being ‘depressed’. Depression is characterised by persistent, significantly lowered mood and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that are normally enjoyable. This chapter addresses the signs and symptoms of depression and how to approach a depressed person.
- causes of depression
- signs and symptoms of depression
- medication for depression
- suicidal thoughts
- strategies and techniques.