Everyone gets down sometimes, especially when things aren't going well. It is a normal response to difficult or upsetting experiences. Usually these feelings last for a few days. If you are depressed, however, these feelings may last longer and make it harder to cope with everyday life.

Depression is very common – 1 in 6 of us can expect to experience depression at some time in their life. There are different degrees of depression, ranging in intensity from mild to severe.

If you are suffering from mild depression you may feel low, sad or fed up for a while. Everything seems harder work and less rewarding. You may feel you’re not enjoying life. Gradually, however, these feelings will lift.

If you are suffering from severe depression you are likely to feel very down and unable to cope with normal activities like going to lectures or seeing friends. Severe depression is longer lasting. Sometimes you may feel so hopeless that you think of suicide. If you are severely depressed it’s important to seek professional help.

Student with phone


The Samaritans operate a 24-hour listening service on:

 Alert If you search for 'depression' on the internet you will find thousands of sites. Some of them are helpful – others are not, and may be harmful if you are feeling vulnerable. Beware of sites which promise a ‘miracle cure’ if you buy their products.