Depression can happen to anyone and does happen to one in four of us over our lifetimes. If you are depressed, you may feel that nothing can help, but this is untrue. Most people recover from bouts of depression and some even look back on it as a useful experience which forced them to take stock of their lives and make changes in their lifestyle.
Different factors that make it more likely to happen including: biological make-up, upbringing or reactions to life events. What keeps it going is how we deal with those things. The way we think and what we do affects the way we feel.
Depression is often accompanied by other feelings such as guilt, shame, anger and anxiety. In therapy we look at what is keeping the depression going and use CBT interventions to break that cycle.
We often use the expression "I feel depressed" when we're feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually, these feelings pass in due course but if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you're depressed in the medical sense of the term. In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn"t stop you leading your normal life, but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, major depression (clinical depression) can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.
If you are experiencing sucidal thoughts it would be advisable to talk to your GP ASAP or attend your local A&E department.