Mental health problems
What is it?
•    Don’t confuse depression with the blues or passing sadness. Everyone has their ups and downs in life. It’s normal to feel depressed after certain difficult events (e.g. a heartbreak), failures or aggravations.

•    Depression is a state of profound sadness that can extend over several weeks. The symptoms can be intense, prolonged and not improve with time.

•    Depression can affect children, teenagers and adults.

•    It affects many aspects of life, including school, work, relationships with family and friends and physical health.

•    It can bring about several changes in terms of behaviour, mood and attitude. Someone who is active and enthusiastic can become sedate, sad and withdrawn. Likewise, a top student can often see their marks plummet.

•    Most of the time, a depressed person doesn’t feel like doing anything. They lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy.

•    It’s important to know that only a qualified professional can diagnose depression.

Symptoms of depression include:
- sadness (e.g. crying a lot) or irritability every day
- lack of interest/enjoyment in activities
- significant weight gain or loss
- sleep disorders (difficulty falling asleep, sleeping too much or falling asleep all the time)
- fatigue or severe loss of energy (everything requires a superhuman effort)
- feelings of diminished self-worth (lowered self-esteem) and excessive guilt
- difficulty paying attention/focusing
- thoughts of death, suicidal ideas

If you believe you have symptoms of depression, consult a doctor or a health professional as soon as possible because without treatment, the depression could worsen. Depression can, fortunately, be treated successfully.
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