It is quite common to feel sad and everyone goes through phases of daily ups and downs. But when these bouts of temporary sadness persist for a long time, the person is said to be suffering from depression. Temporary sadness or Reactive Depression is a kind of reaction to immediate surroundings.
Like other illnesses, depression is also a type of illness. For example, in case of fever - one goes to a doctor; for a toothache - a dentist; for an eye problem - get eyes checked. But when it comes to depression, most people, either do very little, or do nothing about it. Depressed people do not seek professional help because they believe their problems cannot be solved. Even the people around them do not encourage the depressed person to seek professional help. They believe - time is the best healer. Often people arrive at a wrong conclusion - "A vacation will solve the problem". It should be recognised that depression is a kind of illness and a vacation cannot substitute the job of a professional therapist.
Depression affects one in five people at some point in their lives. Anyone can get low at times, but with depression, the feelings don’t go away quickly or become so bad they interfere with everyday life.
The feeling of depression is deeper, longer and more unpleasant than the short periods of unhappiness that we all have from time to time.
This presents a very bleak picture. However, it's important to remember that depression isn't an absolute - it's not simply a case of either you're depressed or you're not. There's a progression from feeling blue to the full clinical illness described above. Even then, you won't suffer from every symptom.