Depression Depression is at least as common in people with Down syndrome as it is in the general population and the effects are the same. Depression is not part of the condition but is one of the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric disorders for those with Down syndrome. It is much more than just feeling sad or low for a while. There is a wide range of symptoms, some more common than others, which persist for at least two weeks and often considerably longer. Depression may appear relatively quickly or may develop gradually over many months. Depression can occur as a result of an upheaval in a person's life such as bereavement, as a result of disappointment, stress or illness or sometimes for no apparent reason. Society in general is becoming increasingly aware of the occurrence and impact of mental illness and its treatment. So too are the families of people with Down syndrome who will no longer tolerate the ‘that’s just Down syndrome, what do you expect’ approach and are actively seeking to improve mental well-being by securing the diagnosis, treatment and programmes of support which are routinely available to the wider population. As for all people who experience depression, it is important to ask for help. It is not normal for someone to feel depressed just because they have Down syndrome. Remember to be patient and that depression is an illness, and that most people get better with treatment and support.