What is Depression?

The word "depression" is often used as a "catch-all" term for everything from low moods to feeling sad to the more serious medical disorders described throughout this website. However, "depression" is also the term used to describe an illness whose sufferers experience intense feelings of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness, accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy or physical aches and pains. People with depression find it hard to function every day and may be reluctant to participate in activities they once enjoyed.

Depressive illnesses are some of the most common of all mental health problems. One in five people experience some form of depression at some stage of their lives.

Moving Forward aims to provide clear and comprehensive information about depression. This website will take you step-by-step through the symptoms of depression: how to recognise it, how to get help, how to help someone else and how to stay well. The site also provides recommendations on where to find additional information and links to other useful organisations.

To find out more about the various types of depression, please click on the topics in the left-hand menu or from the drop-down menu above.