Having severe clinical depression or major depressive disorder is like being trapped in your mind, unable to see a way out. Without help, some people who have major depression end up taking their own lives.

Feeling sad or down about a problem in your life or an upsetting event is a natural expression of emotion that’s part of everyone’s life. When you’re otherwise healthy, these periods of feeling blue pass in time, and your mood improves. When you have depression, sadness and low mood don’t leave you, and instead continue to get worse.

Depression is a very real, very serious health condition that can be challenging to treat, but with expert help, it’s possible to make a full recovery.