Feeling low or down is normal. We all have times when things just feel too much, the world looks a bit grey and we can't be bothered. We might even think or say "I'm feeling a bit depressed today". It can be helpful if you are feeling low to take time to better understand your emotions.
Being depressed however is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.
When you are depressed you feel sad or low for weeks or months.
Some people think depression is not a genuine health condition. They're wrong – people experience recognisable changes in how they feel physically, in their emotional reactions and in how they think and behave.
Depression is not a sign of weakness. Nor is it something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together".
The good news is that with the right help and support, most people with depression can return to feeling like their usual selves.
Signs of depression include:
And feeling this way for more than a few days.
People become depressed for a variety of reasons. Often there is a combination of factors.
The reasons might include the impact of childhood experiences, work stress, relationship problems, bereavement or other losses, family crisis, changes in our brain or body chemistry, other physical conditions and the effects of traumatic experiences.
Depression: A Self Help guide
Call free on 0800 83 85 87
Opening hours: Weekdays: Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am Weekend: Friday 6pm-Monday 6am
The Breathing Space service is for people in Scotland
The Centre for Clinical Interventions provides free self help modules to help you manage feelings of depression.
. The Moodgym programme helps you learn and practise skills that can help prevent and manage symptoms of anxity and depression. There is a cost to register.
Living Life to the full provides free online courses to help you deal with low mood and stress.
Tools to help you change your thinking