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We all feel low or down at times, but if your negative emotions last a long time or feel very severe, you may have depression.

Depression is a mood disorder where you feel very down all the time. Depression can happen as a reaction to something like abuse, bullying or family breakdown, but it can also run in families.

Depression often develops alongside anxiety.

It's not the same as manic depression, which is another term for bipolar disorder.

Depression is one of the most common types of mental illness. Although it's hard to feel optimistic when you're depressed, there is lots of support available to help you feel better.

Since I was a teenager I’ve been struggling with depression. Pulling me down, crushing my motivation, wasting my energy, hating myself, making me think life isn’t worth living.
Daniel Howell, YouTuber and YoungMinds ambassador

The symptoms of depression

Depression affects different people in different ways. Symptoms can include:

  • not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed
  • avoiding friends or social situations
  • sleeping more or less than normal
  • eating more or less than normal
  • feeling irritable, upset, miserable or lonely
  • being self-critical
  • feeling hopeless
  • maybe wanting to self-harm
  • feeling tired and not having any energy

Just because you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re definitely affected by depression. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis.

Try to keep going outside, even if it’s just a short walk, it can really help your mood to lift.

Molly

What to do about depression

Take the first step – depression can affect anyone, and you deserve help to feel better. Talk to someone you like and trust, like a teacher, relative, counsellor or friend.

You should also see your GP. They may offer to refer you to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), an expert or a psychiatrist who can help you.

Treating depression

Depression can be treated with therapy, or a combination of both therapy and medication. Exercise can also help relieve symptoms. 

The most likely therapy you will be offered is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you manage your thoughts and feelings, although other types of talking therapy are available. 

Information taken from Youngminds for more information and support with depression please visit their website