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Depression is something which affects huge numbers of people of all ages and from all walks of life and it is characterised by feelings of despair and hopelessness.  Those suffering from depressive illness commonly describe themselves as feeling ‘lost’ and the people, interests and pastimes which previously held their attention no longer have any appeal.  Often they will become withdrawn and uncommunicative and will experience an intense loss of self-worth and sense of pessimism about the future. 

Although sometimes depression can develop after prolonged periods of stress or particularly traumatic events, it can also appear for no apparent reason, although often it has its roots in the past.