What you need to know
We all have times when our mood dips down and we find it hard to lift ourselves up. Usually when we feel like this it doesn’t last very long and we can cheer ourselves up or our mood simply lifts back up again.
Real or “clinical” depression, as it is sometimes called, is quite different. It isn’t just a day or two of feeling low. It is when low feelings stick around for at least two weeks and are accompanied by other experiences like not feeling any pleasure, losing or gaining weight, loss of concentration, feeling tired, feeling worthless and sometimes having recurring thoughts about death.
We know when someone is depressed too, because these experiences cause them severe distress.
About 1 in 10 people experience depression at least once in their life. It is pretty common, and it is important to reach out for help if you are struggling.
Here is a link to some useful resources to help you recognise depression and help yourself if you are experiencing it: Depression Worksheets | Therapist Aid
Talk therapies (such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy- CBT) are the best way to deal with depression in the long term; this allows you to find new ways to think and behave so that you feel better.
Sometimes, doctors will think about medication too, but this should not really be the first choice.
Speak to your public health nurse if you would like to talk to someone about this. They can support you to make a referral to Talking Therapies or other interventions if needed.