Everyone feels low or down sometimes, but if your negative emotions last a long time or feel very severe, you may have depression.
Depression is a mental health condition that makes you feel very down all the time.
Depression can happen as a reaction to something like abuse, bullying or family problems, but it can also run in families. Depression often develops alongside anxiety.
Depression affects different people in different ways. The YoungMinds website lists some of the symptoms of depression as:
Depression is one of the most common types of mental ill health. Although it’s hard to feel hopeful when you’re depressed, there is a lot of support available to help you feel better.
If you feel your depression is not too severe, there are lots of self-help techniques you could use to help yourself feel better. Mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy have both been shown through research to be effective, and the podcasts and video links below provide some further information about these.
Depression is often associated with negative thoughts. Here’s an exercise that you can do to learn to retrain your mind to focus on more positive things. There’s more information about this technique in a video from Young Scot.
This is a weekly exercise. Do it over the course of one week. (You can start any day of the week, but the points below assumes you’ll be starting on a Monday.)
If you’re feeling severely depressed or distressed, or if you’re self-harming or thinking of suicide, it’s important to talk to your GP right away. You are not alone, and help is available. Don’t suffer in silence.
If you’d feel more comfortable talking to someone anonymously, there are several free helplines that you could phone to talk confidentially about how you’re feeling.