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 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.
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.