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Depression in brief

  • You have gloomy feelings, a lack of pleasure in things and a lack of motivation.
  • You look up to everything and feel alone in the world.
  • Symptoms last for weeks or months.
  • Depression can be mild, moderate or severe and can sometimes last for years.
  • Take depression seriously. Contact your family doctor or a psychologist.

What is depression?

  • Depression is a mental disorder that affects your feelings, thoughts and behavior.
  • You speak of depression when the symptoms last longer than 2 weeks and they do not improve.
  • It is a common disorder, nearly 20% of Dutch people have experienced or face depression at some point in their lives.
  • Depression can be mild, moderate or severe and can sometimes last for years.


If you are depressed continuously between two years you speak of a Dysthyme Disorder. Then you experience long-term mild depressive symptoms.


Do you experience more severe symptoms? Or do you alternate between good and heavy periods? Then you have bipolar disorder. Find out more about the different types of depression.


⮕ Or read more about how depression develops.


You may also experience a one-time period of depression – this is called an “episode. Does such a period recur again? Then we call it recurrent depression.


How do you recognize depression?

The first signs of depression may be:


  • You feel gloomy and listless;
  • You feel a certain emptiness, indecision and uncertainty;
  • You feel a lack of pleasure in things;
  • You feel little to no motivation;
  • You may sometimes experience feelings of shame;


How depression manifests itself is different for everyone. The symptoms of depression among young people differ from those in older people. Also, you may experience or express depression differently than others with depression.


Depression and negative thoughts

With depression, your view of the world and everything around you is gloomy. You tend to see mostly those negative aspects of yourself, others, the world and your future. Negative thoughts in depression can persist for a long time. It then feels as if you are in a vicious circle and the way out is difficult to see. This makes your mood even more gloomy.


What are symptoms of depression?

Besides the initial signs mentioned earlier, other common symptoms of depression can be divided into psychological and physical features.


Psychological symptoms of depression
Psychological and cognitive symptoms of depression may include;


  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Concentration problems
  • Indecision
  • Feeling that you are not worth anything
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Continuous worrying
  • Thinking about suicide


Are you afraid you can’t get out of this negative spiral? Then call the helpline 0900-0113 for acute help.


Physical symptoms of depression
Physical symptoms of depression may include;


  • Fatigue
  • No energy to do anything
  • No desire for sex; lower libido
  • Changes in weight
  • Much more appetite or much less
  • Sleep problems
  • Continuous feeling of restlessness
  • Sluggish feeling in your body


What can you do?

  • Talk about your depression with friends, watch your diet and stay socially active. Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of another person after that. Try these pieces of advice to deal with depression yourself.
  • Does a loved one have depressive symptoms? Offer patience and space to your loved one and help with practical matters, such as making a schedule.
  • Take depression seriously. Depression is a risk factor for sleep problems, insecurity and even, in severe cases, suicidal behavior.
  • Not coming to terms with it yourself? There are several types of treatments for depression.


Help with depression

Do you have questions about depression? Or do you have doubts about when to consult a psychologist?


  • phone-icon

    Have you tried many things yourself and still experiencing symptoms? Feel free to call us at 085-1308900 or contact us online for personal advice.

  • help-icon

    Are you afraid that you won’t be able to break out of this negative spiral? Depending on your location, call one of the following numbers for immediate support:

    • 116 123 (UK)
    • 1-800-273-8255 (USA)
    • 0900-0113 (The Netherlands)

Frequently asked questions

How long does depression last?

The duration of depression can vary for everyone and depends on the nature and severity of the symptoms. Depression can last from weeks to months. Some people experience 1 depressive period, others several in their lifetime. In about half of people, depressive symptoms go away on their own within 3 months.

Is depression a disease?

Depression is a condition that falls under the “mood disorders. It is a disease of mood and feelings.

How is depression diagnosed?

There is consensus on several symptoms that should be present in depressive disorder. Your clinician will go through these criteria to determine if depression is present. Depression is present when at least 5 symptoms are present including at least one of the core symptoms “depressed mood” and “loss of interest or pleasure.

Sanne is experienced in treating depression. She focuses on slowing down, feeling, connecting and resilience. Together with you, she will search for the solution to your symptoms.
GZ-sychologist Sanne Truijen

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Psychologists specialized in depression

Hester van der Veen

Julie Bienfait

Sarah Sagel

Miko Volman