What is Depression?

We can all experience emotions like anger, sadness, or joy. Usually, we feel that we are in control of our emotions and we are able to deal with them on a daily basis.

A person with depression feels negative emotions more intensely and for longer than most people. She has a harder time controlling her emotions and may feel that her life is one of constant pain. The affected person thus has difficulty in fulfilling his professional, family and social obligations.

Different forms of depression

Depression manifests itself in different forms:

Major depression: the presence of symptoms of depression for at least 2 weeks that significantly affect a person's general functioning.

Seasonal depression: the presence of symptoms of depression that always come back at the same time each year. In many people, these symptoms usually appear on the onset of winter.

Postpartum depression: the presence of symptoms of depression in a woman, usually within 6 months of giving birth.

Physical symptoms

The most common physical symptoms of depression are:

• Tiredness;

• Lack of energy or great restlessness;

• Sleep problems: the person sleeps too much or not enough;

• Decreased or increased appetite, which may cause weight loss or gain;

• Decrease or loss of sexual interest;

• Onset of complaints such as headache, back pain or stomach pain.

Psychological symptoms

The most common psychological symptoms in people with depression are:

• Great sadness. For example, the person cries often;

• A very significant loss of interest in professional, social and family activities;

• A feeling of guilt or failure;

• Decreased self-esteem;

• Difficulty concentrating on a task;

• Difficulty making decisions;

• Suicidal thoughts.

When to consult

Do not wait until you are no longer able to do your usual activities to consult. If you have symptoms, you can consult certain organizations and associations in the field of mental health. These offer information, help and support. See the Help and Resources section for the resources available to you.

See your family doctor or other healthcare professional if:

You feel distressed;

Your symptoms are preventing you from functioning normally;

You have difficulty assuming your social, work or family responsibilities.

A healthcare professional will be able to assess whether you are depressed or have any other medical condition that has similar symptoms. To properly assess you, your doctor may need to check up on your physical condition or order lab tests. He will suggest a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

If you are thinking about suicide and fear for your safety or the safety of those around you, check out the Advice page. There you will find more information on the help and resources available.


Depression is an illness that can be treated with recognized treatments. These allow people with the disease to regain control over their life and daily activities. The earlier the sufferer consults, the better their chances of recovery.

In the majority of cases, depression is treated effectively with psychotherapy, antidepressant drugs or a combination of these 2 treatments.

Medicines for depression

Antidepressants are drugs that restore the chemical balance in the brain. They reduce the intensity of physical symptoms and act on:

The emotions



Recommendations for taking medication

If your doctor prescribes medication for you, it is important that you take it carefully as directed.

You will also need to be patient before you get results. It may take some time, sometimes up to 4 to 8 weeks, for the medication to work its maximum effect.

Even if you feel better, you should continue to take your medicine as prescribed to prevent your symptoms from coming back.

If you have any unwanted side effects from medication, see your pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible to discuss them. If necessary, your doctor may adjust your medication or recommend another medication.


People with depression are sometimes victims of their own prejudices and those that exist in society. These prejudices discourage people with the disease from seeking help or continuing their treatment. To learn more about stigma, its consequences, and how you can fight it, find our volunteers that are willing to share what they’ve learned and have someone who understands your situation to talk to


The information contained on the site does not in any way replace the advice of a professional health resource. If you have any questions regarding your condition, consult a professional resource.