Part of human nature is that our moods can vary for any number of reasons. We might feel irritable because we’re hungry or tired or feel a bit low thanks to hormone changes or lack of sunlight. And that’s all perfectly normal.

We all feel low – even miserable and sad – at times, and it usually wears off by itself. But when low mood affects everyday life and lasts for a long time or lasts for a few days but comes back repeatedly then it may be depression.

Mild depression can just feel like low spirits. Life goes on as normal but it’s harder and doesn’t feel very worthwhile. Moderate depression might have a greater impact on everyday life and severe depression can even be life-threatening.

Sometimes, having these thought and feelings can be hard to explain and difficult to talk about – it can even feel easier for people who are suffering to isolate themselves. But, without support and treatment, depression can have a negative impact on work, finances, relationships and overall health.

Knowing that support and help is needed doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for the person who is suffering to seek out treatment, but the earlier they do – and it can be anything from self-help, to talking therapies, to medication – the sooner things can start to get better.