Despite what you may think, depressed people don’t look a particular way.
Depression affects anyone, at any time, for any reason. And when it does, depression can affect every aspect of a person’s life – how they think, how they feel, and how they behave towards their family and friends.
How do I know if I have depression?
Feeling hopeless, having no motivation, reduced performance at school, guilt, sadness and low mood, constant tiredness, and losing interest or enjoyment in things that you normally like doing, are all symptoms that you may have started to notice.
You might also experience aches and pains or feel anxious too.
The key point is that depression is more than simply feeling like this for a few days – it’s about these feelings going on for weeks.
What can I do about it?
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms it's important that you talk to someone like your GP, teacher, or confide in a friend or adult you trust.
Try to look after yourself by eating well, resting, taking a little exercise and the time to do the things you enjoy. For more ideas check out the Whats Up challenge.
There are also some other things you can do to try and improve your mood:
Where to go for support
If you think you have depression or if you've been feeling low for a few weeks - Speak to a school nurse for support and advice - they offer weekly confidential 'drop-ins' in secondary schools. Send a text to ChatHealth (07507 333356) or ask in school to find out more.
Log into Kooth. It's a free, safe and confidential online service where you can find someone to talk to when you need it. Read more in our information pages or visit their website www.kooth.com
The children and young people's Emotional Wellbeing Hub provides an online referral for support and a telephone helpline (0345 600 2090) if you are worried about you or a friend's emotional wellbeing and need advice.
Speak to a youth worker at 4YP who will provide advice and support. Visit their website for more details www.4yp.org.uk
Visit your GP. There is no difference between seeing your GP for physical health or emotional health issues, and they will be able to help you.
For online help and support around dealing with depression, visit NHS Choices Moodzone.
You can go to your GP for help at any age. Anything you talk about is confidential and will be kept between you and your doctor.
If you're 16 or over, you can also refer yourself for free support from the Wellbeing Service. This could be in the form of short term counselling or a telephone call from a professional, or wellbeing workshops or classes. For more information, visit the Wellbeing Service website.