Feeling sad or down in the dumps from time to time is a part of life. Feelings of discouragement and frustration are normal reactions to loss or disappointments. Everyone has their ups and downs.
Normal sadness is usually mild and related to something that is going on in your life. You may find that you’re not sleeping well or don’t feel like being around your friends or family. Your appetite may change – you may not feel hungry or find that you’re eating more. Generally, a low mood or a case of the blues will go away in a few days or a couple of weeks, especially if there is an improvement in the situation that started it.
Some people find it difficult to recognize they may be heading towards depression because there doesn't seem to be any real reason why they feel the way they do. Depression may be set off by a negative life event but some people are also more vulnerable as a result of early life experiences or a family history of depression. Sometimes it's not possible to trace the onset to any one cause. It is important to take action if you suspect depression may be interfering with your life. If you're finding it difficult to feel happy and have lost interest or pleasure in the activities you used to enjoy – act now.
For symptoms of depression, see What to Look For.