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• Dr Jay Watts is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and senior lecturer

Depression is the curse of modernity, affecting more and more of us. It is the black dog that haunts us, the lethargy that makes it impossible to get out of bed. It is the vacuum of meaning which sucks out all our desire, our hope, so we are left in an empty void. Sadness is something we all experience, part of the fluctuations in moods that make up everyday experience. But depression? Depression is something else.

Related: Drugs alone won't cure the epidemic of depression. We need strategy | Mark Rice-Oxley

There are many of us who have been at death’s door as a result of mental health problems and yet have found a way back

Related: It’s good to talk about mental health. But is it enough? | Eva Wiseman

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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