Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
What is depression?
Depression affects anyone, at any time, for any reason.
And when it does, depression can affect every aspect of a person’s life – how you think, how you feel, and how you behave towards family and friends.
Despite what you may think, depressed people don’t look a particular way.
It's a constant feeling of sadness that won't go away.
Watch the animated video which captures the shared experiences of young people using their own words to explain what struggling with depression is like.
How do I know if I have depression?
You may start to notice these symptoms:
- Feeling hopeless
- Having no motivation
- Reduced performance at school
- Sadness and low mood
- Constant tiredness
- Losing interest or enjoyment in things that you normally like doing.
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 and 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.
These are some things you can do to try and look after yourself and improve your mood:
- Ask for help - from family, friends or a GP (see below for other support).
- Be social - don't withdraw from life.
- Sleep well - get enough sleep and rest time. Try to go to bed at the same time each night.
- Try eating more healthily - food is so much more than just fuel for our bodies, what we eat can effect how we feel too.
- Be more active - even a short walk/run down your street can make a difference, or try a sport that you like.
- Do something creative - it's a good way to express your feelings and clear your mind.
- Spend time doing things you enjoy - think of things that make you feel good and calm or that you would like to try doing, these can be big or small things.
For simple ideas of things you can do to help look after your emotional health, check out our page 30 Day Whats Up challenge.
Where to go for support
If you think you have depression or if you've been feeling low for a few weeks now you can contact:
- Emotional Wellbeing Hub – Confidential advice if you're worried about yours or a friends mental health.
- Just One Norfolk - Mental health support services for young people in Lowestoft and Waveney.
- Kooth - A free, safe and anonymous online counselling service where you can find someone to talk to.
- ChatHealth Service - To speak to a school nurse.
- Suffolk Young People's Health Project (4YP) - To speak with a 4YP youth worker for confidential advice and support. Drop in or call them.
- Suffolk Wellbeing Service - Provides a range of support for wellbeing issues, such as low mood, depression or stress.
- 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. 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.
Feeling distressed and having a crisis?
The following services can help if you are experiencing a mental health crisis:
- Call NHS 111 option 2 Mental Health Crisis line - if emotionally distressed.
- The Samaritans - Call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit their website.
- PAPYRUS - Offers a helpline for young people who are feeling suicidal, or have thought about self-harm or taking their own life. To talk to someone who is trained to deal with these issues and offer advice and support, call 0800 068 41 41.
- YoungMinds Crisis Text Messenger Service - Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text YM to 85258.
- C.A.L.M Campaign Against Living Miserably - Free, confidential and anonymous helpline as well as a webchat service for men and boys who are struggling and need to talk - if you can't talk to your mates or family about it! Call helpline on 0800 58 58 58. Offer 24/7 support.
You may find these websites useful:
- Moodwise - Helps you find digital tools and resources to feel better.
- YoungMinds website - Offers online support for children and young people who are worried about their mental health.
- On My Mind - Provides information to help you make informed choices about your mental health including a jargon buster, understanding referrals, understanding treatments and your rights.
- Tips from the Samaritans - Become a better listener and help save lives with these tips.
Useful health and wellbeing Apps:
- Go to our 'If the App fits' page
If you-re experiencing depression or low mood, may also feel anxious! Go to our Anxiety page