Depression (low mood)

Depression is a persistent low mood (continuing for a long time). It impacts the way people feel, think and behave. Depression can happen as a reaction to a difficult experience such as bullying, bereavement or family relationship difficulties, but it can also happen without any obvious trigger or reason.

You can find out more by watching this helpful video from the World Health Organization:

How can depression make you feel?

People with depression can feel a range of emotions including sadness, stress, hopelessness, irritability, loneliness, anger, emptiness or feeling numb. People with depression often have negative thoughts about themselves, other people, the future, or life in general. Some people can also find it difficult to carry out their usual routines and tasks such as showering, brushing their teeth, eating and sleeping.

People with depression often stop enjoying activities that they used to enjoy, or stop seeing friends as they feel tired or have no energy or motivation. People with severe depression or depression that has been going on for a long time can sometimes have thoughts or urges to harm themselves or to end their lives. When a young person feels like this, it is important they talk to other people about how they are feeling so their friends, family, teachers, healthcare workers or anyone else involved in their life can work with them to develop a plan to keep them safe.

Depression isn’t something people can ‘snap out of’ or simply ‘cheer up’ from. When you are struggling with low mood and depression, it can affect many aspects of your life. The good news is that depression is treatable and people can recover. CAMHS is able to support you through this process of change, using approaches based on the latest research.

  1. It is important to tell someone how you are feeling so that you are not alone in dealing with these feelings. You could talk to a parent/carer, teacher, health professional (school nurse or your GP). This is particularly important if you are having thoughts or urges to harm yourself or end your life. If you are feeling unsafe or in crisis, go to the ‘Help I’m in Crisis’ page.
  2. Follow a basic daily routine and make sure you are still doing the activities you need to do, as well as some activities that you used to enjoy but have perhaps stopped doing. Plan activities for morning, afternoon and evening and try to stick to these even if you do not feel like it. Avoiding or withdrawing from activities can lower your mood so make sure that you see friends, go to school/college and do the things that you enjoy.
  3. Look after yourself. Eat well, sleep, get some fresh air daily, do exercise and avoid self-medication (for example using alcohol, drugs or caffeine).

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