Most of us occasionally feel down or sad but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days.

When a person has a depressive disorder it interferes with daily life and normal functioning and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those around him or her.

Symptoms of a depressive disorder include:

The word depression describes many different states of mind from feeling a little fed up through to full-blown clinical depression. Depression may have an obvious cause such as bereavement or a relationship break-up or it may have no particular cause at all. It may be connected to being stuck somewhere in a painful past with feelings of guilt, regret or even shame. In some cases it can even manifest in obsessive compulsive behaviour.

When once we have established the origin, it is usually possible to understand and look at things in a new way with a view to leaving the pain in the past. By making changes in thinking, feeling and behaviour in the present it is usually possible to re-shape the future.

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