Depression is defined by having a persistently low mood and/or loss of pleasure in normal activities for at least two weeks.
Each year, 5 in 100 adults experience a period of depression.
The two key symptoms of depression are persistent sadness or low mood and marked loss of pleasure in activities that a person usually enjoys.
Other typical symptoms include:
Simple approaches including exercise, improved sleep hygiene, and self-help can improve symptoms and reduce the impact on quality of life.
Most patients will also benefit from an element of psychological therapy, including counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, and interpersonal therapy.
Medical management primarily involves the use of anti-depressants (e.g. duloxetine, fluoxetine, amitriptyline).
Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate benefit in symptoms or quality of life.