It is completely normal to feel low, sad or fed up at times. This can be in response to things going on in our lives and around us, or sometimes seemingly for no reason at all. However we would expect to notice that our mood improves naturally within a week or two and the low mood doesn’t have too great an impact on our lives. However if you have depression, these low feelings tend to linger and can last much longer, months or even years, and they can then begin to have a significant impact on your life.
Below is a list of the symptoms of depression as provided by the Royal College of Psychiatry. People who are experiencing depression will not experience every symptom but may find they can identify with at least 5 or 6 of them.
CBT can help you to identify if you have developed any unhelpful, overly negative or unrealistic thinking styles or habits, as well as any unhelpful coping strategies or behaviours in response to feeling depressed. It is possible that you do things to cope with the low mood that feel helpful at the time, but these may in fact be maintaining the depression and not allowing your mood to improve. CBT would therefore be directed at helping you to develop more helpful ways of thinking and behaving in order for you to feel better.