What is Depression?

Depression is different from feeling down or sad. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one time or another, usually due to a particular cause. A person experiencing depression will experience intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness, and the feelings stay with them instead of going away. For more information click here 

How might I feel?

We all expect to get a cold or sore throat from time to time but when it comes to the way we feel emotionally, it can be hard to recognise or admit that we're not feeling 100%.

There are many questionnaires designed to assess how you are feeling in order to point you in the right direction for resources that will help you better understand how you feel.

Click here to go to the Check Your Mood self assessment page.

It can be easy for us to self-diagnose ourselves as feeling depressed when we might just be sad or finding things more difficult than usual. The thing to remember is feeling sad doesn’t always mean that you are depressed!

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seek help. You may find this website useful.

If you find yourself relating to many of the symptoms below you should talk to your parents, your GP or your form tutor.

  • Tiredness and loss of energy.
  • Sadness that doesn’t go away. 
  • Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. 
  • Difficulty concentrating. 
  • Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting. 
  • Feeling anxious all the time. 
  • Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends. 
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. 
  • Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual.
  • Very strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness. 
  • Finding it hard to function at work/college/school. 
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Physical aches and pains. 
  • Thinking about suicide and death. 
  • Self-harming.

What can I do?

Counselling - One of the most effective methods of helping people with depression.  It provides people with the opportunity to talk through the issues that may be building up and therefore causing depression. 

If counselling isn’t for you – how about just talking things through with a friend.  Talking can make problems that seem huge, become smaller and more manageable.

Exercise -  This can be as powerful as any other treatment for depression – why not try a new type of exercise – yoga and dancing are two of the best forms of exercise to do when you are feeling depressed.

Music-  not just your favorite type of music, but music that will relax you and calm you down.  If you don’t want to listen to music try making music of your own.  The thing to remember is that you should be having fun as this will help to reduce the feelings responsible for weighing you down.

Don’t Forget - Having fun works!

There’s an App for that! - There are also loads of excellent well-being apps that you can download onto your iphone or android.  These can be really useful to help you take time out of your busy day to clear your head.  There are loads of apps that claim to use psychological principles to increase wellbeing in some way, encouraging you to keep track of your mood, to manage worry, to influence what you dream about … all sorts. Why not try one of the following:

Headspace

Digipill

Stop, Breathe and Think

Mindfulness Meditation

Dream:ON

Live Happy

Mindshift

Where can I go for help?

Useful websites to help you make more sense of your feelings also include the NHS Website, Samaritans and Mind.  

http://www.samaritans.org/

http://www.mind.org.uk/

http://www.depressionalliance.org/

There are also audio guides about low mood and depression that you can access from the nhs website.  These might help to remind you that feeling low is totally normally and you are most certainly not alone.

http://www.nhs.uk/Video/Pages/low-mood-and-depression-podcast.aspx


Further resources can also be found on the Health and Wellbeing page of our website