Information in simple English

What is depression?

Depression is a serious mental disorder that can interfere with a person's life. It could cause long lasting and severe feelings of sadness, loss of interest and hopelessness. Depression can also result in physical symptoms of pain, sleep problems and change in appetite. Depression can range from mild episodes of sadness to severe persistent depression.


  • Major depression 
  • Persistent depressive disorder 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Seasonal Affective disorder 
  • Situational depression 
  • Psychotic depression 



  • Brain chemistry - chemical imbalance in areas of brain that control mood, thinking, sleep, food and behaviour.
  • Levels of hormone - changes in the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone at various stages of life
  • Family history - having a family history of depression or another mood illness
  • Early childhood adversity - some occurrences impact how the body reacts to fear and stress.
  • Brain structure - less active frontal lobe. 
  • Medical problem - chronic sickness, sleeplessness, chronic pain, Parkinson's disease, stroke, heart attack, and cancer can increase its risk.
  • Use of drugs - a history of drug or alcohol
  • Pain - people under emotional or chronic bodily discomfort for an extended length of time .



  • A persistent low mood 
  • Lost interest in normal activities.
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Change in appetite and weight
  • Agitation or slowing of movements
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, self-harm, or suicide attempts