We all feel low from time to time but every so often it can get a lot worse than that. Depression often goes unnoticed and you might not even realise you have it. It is important to be conscious of your mood and to seek help if you are ever feeling overwhelmed by your low mood.
What is depression?
Everybody has times when they feel low, down in the dumps or like they can’t be bothered. This is very normal and these dips in mood don’t usually get in the way of life too much.
Depression is a more extreme sense of feeling this way and it does get in the way of life. Depression sometimes happens because of a particular event, such as the death of someone close, and sometimes it just develops and there is no singular reason. People that are depressed may also have other difficulties, such as anxiety or self-harm.
What are the signs of depression?
There are many different symptoms of depression and it is important to remember that everyone experiences things differently. However, here are some of the most common:
- Low motivation and mood
- Changes in eating or sleeping
- More negative thinking
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling irritable, sad or lonely.
Tips for dealing with depression
While there is no silver bullet for dealing with depression there are things you can do to help cope with it. Here are some of our top tips:
- Talk to someone: This could be anyone that you find helpful to talk to – don’t bottle it up
- Stay in touch: Try to keep connected to a few people. This can help your mood
- Look after yourself: Take a look at things in your everyday routine such as your eating, drinking and sleeping habits to see if small changes could improve your mood
- Tune into your thoughts: Spotting unhelpful thoughts can help to challenge negative thinking
- Be more active: There’s loads of evidence that exercise improves our mood – you could try anything from walking the dog to riding a bike, trampolining or swimming
- Have a routine: Creating a routine increases your chances of doing things that improve your mood. Build in small challenges you can achieve as well as treats
- Professional help: If your mood is really getting in the way of your life, you may need extra support from someone trained to help – this might include talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). People who are very depressed sometimes find that medication can help too
Top apps to help with depression
- Smiling Mind: practice daily meditation and mindfulness exercises
- Mood Panda: track your mood and get anonymous support
- Depression CBT self-help guide: learn to control stress that contributes to depression
- Sleep Cycle: track and analyse your sleep so you can get woken up at the perfect time for your mood
- HeadSpace: train your mind for a healthier, happier life (ages 13-25)
- Moodpath: depression and anxiety tracker and test (ages 13-25)
- MoodTools: for keeping thought diaries and making safety plans (ages 18-25)