Severe depression

What is severe depression?

Severe depression is a serious medical illness. It is unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss or passing moods. Severe depression is long-lasting and significantly interferes with thoughts, behaviour, mood, activity and physical health. Depression is not something that you can just ‘snap out of’. It is not a sign of weakness.

Depression is one of the most common mental health difficulties. It can affect anyone at any age. With the right supports and information, depression is very treatable.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling very sad
  • Losing hope and confidence
  • Moving slower and getting agitated easily
  • Having little energy and feeling less able to do things
  • Feeling guilty, worthless or helpless
  • Losing weight
  • Having no interest in sex
  • Sleeping too much or not being able to sleep
  • Sleeping and eating less than usual
  • Thinking about self-harm, death, suicide or suicide attempts.

A person needs professional support when several of these symptoms of depression:

  • happen at the same time,
  • last longer than two weeks, and
  • interfere with your normal life.

Types of supports for severe depression

The treatment for severe depression can include a combination of:

  • social supports like family support or group support,
  • psychological therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT),
  • other talking therapies, and
  • medication.

Your doctor will be able to help you find the best treatment for you. Go to our recovery page to learn more.