Everyone feels sad sometimes. Depression is when those feelings of sadness get so intense that you feel helpless, hopeless, or worthless for longer than a few days. Sometimes you also may have trouble concentrating or sleeping and you may feel incredibly tired all the time.
Feeling sad or lonely at times is a normal part of life. However, if these feelings interfere with your daily life and cause emotional pain for either you or those around you, you may be dealing with depression. Depression varies from person to person, and not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. When these symptoms become overwhelming and keep you from engaging in and enjoying daily activities, you should seek help.
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and learn to recognize the warning signs.