Three out of four people in the UK suffer from depression at some point but only a third seek help, a poll found today.
Women are more likely to feel depressed than men, with 80% saying they regularly or occasionally feel down or unable to cope.
Money is the biggest cause of depression, with more than half of all people surveyed saying they have felt down about money over the last 12 months.
Men are particularly likely to have linked their depression to the recession, whereas women have been worried about family or relationships.
January is regarded as the most depressing month of the year, caused by post-Christmas credit card bills and cold weather.
Zelda Peters, director for mental health at the charity Turning Point, said even mild depression needs to be identified and treated early.
“We know that, if diagnosed early, mild depression can be successfully treated.
“If not, it can escalate and lead to unemployment or long-term sickness, and even to negative behaviours such as drinking more, missing work or college and lying to family and friends.
“Most people think anti-depressants are the answer and for some people they are.
“But there are a huge range of treatments beyond this on offer, such as psychological therapies which provide effective long-term relief.”