Words like ‘depression’, ‘anxiety’, ‘stress’, are often used to describe perfectly normal reactions to life events. It is normal to feel depressed in response to a negative experience like failing an exam, losing a job or relationship problems, but eventually you get over it and move forward.
The line is crossed between the natural state of ‘feeling depressed’ and suffering from the deeper problem of ‘depression’, when that low unhappy state of mind doesn’t get better in a couple of weeks or so. It may have no specific or single cause. True depression is a miserable experience for the sufferer and can affect relationships with teachers, employers, friends and family, compounding feelings of unhappiness and isolation even further.
10-20% of teenagers suffer from depression at some time. It can happen to anyone - it doesn't mean that you are not a normal sociable person or that things will not get better.
People of all ages and both sexes suffer from depression including young children and teenagers, and it can be a big problem for older people too. Two in three adults will suffer from depression at some time in their lives.
Feeling depressed can affect your general health if you neglect yourself by not eating properly and not getting enough exercise - both of which can make you feel worse and cause physical problems. It is also important to pay attention to personal hygiene. A simple thing like not cleaning your teeth properly twice a day can lead to gum disease and possibly loss of teeth. Just the simple act of showering every day, having clean hair and clean teeth can make you feel better and helps with your self-esteem, which is important. You don't have to go through this alone - seek help. See Links in the right-hand column on this page and also talk to your GP.
(Local) Where's your head at? www.wheresyourheadat.co.uk
Depression - Royal College of Psychiatrists
Depression in young people - Royal College of Psychiatrists
Depression - Self-Help Guide Northampton Tyne & Wear NHS Trust
Depression - Young Minds
Clinical depression - NHS.uk
Mental Health Helplines - NHS.uk
(Local) Steps2Wellbeing - Dorset Healthcare - Self referral.
The Big White Wall www.bigwhitewall.com
An online mental health and wellbeing service offering self-help programmes, creative outlets and a community that cares.
World Health Organisation