An official definition of depression.....
Two weeks of abnormal depressed mood
Loss of interest and decreased energy
Loss of confidence
Recurrent thoughts of death
Agitation or retardation
Change in appetite
Mild depression includes the first two symptoms and at least one other.
Severe depression is the first two symptoms and at least five others.
A list of symptoms which may be more familiar.....
People with depression experience many of the following for prolonged periods:
sadness, lethargy, helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, difficulties with decisions, memory, concentration, loss of interest, energy, changes to sleep patterns - difficulty sleeping or staying awake, changes in weight - either significant loss or gain in weight, relationship problems with partners, friends, family, colleagues, isolation, thoughts of death, suicide, anxiousness, unusual fear or feeling panic.
The degrees of these experiences will vary greatly. If you have many of these symptoms for prolonged period you are very probably experiencing depression, and should see your doctor regarding a professional assessment and treatment.
Importantly, there are also other illnesses which may produce similar symptoms to depression, and that require a very different treatment. Your doctor will be able to test for these.
If you only have a few of these symptoms and don't consider yourself to be depressed, treatment for depression, either traditional or alternate, may help. It is certainly worth speaking with a medical professional you are comfortable with.
The following websites list resources and practical help for Depression.
Young People's websites
Phone numbers that may be of help.
Life Line: 13 11 14
Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800(toll free)
Grief Line: (03) 9596 7799
Crisis Line: 136 169
Direct Line: (drug and alcohol) 1800 888 236 (toll free)