Helping you get through life
Everybody gets down sometimes. But if you stay down for a while, you might actually be depressed. Find out what depression really is, why people get it and things to help us get out of it here...
It's very unusual to feel happy every day. But if you've been really sad for weeks on end, and it's starting to take over your life, you could be depressed.
People with depression often experience extreme sadness and hopelessness. This goes on for some time. We may lose or gain weight, lack energy, motivation and concentration. Often we suffer from low self-esteem and find it hard to sleep.
We give up on stuff we used to like doing: going out, seeing mates, whatever. We may drink more alcohol than is good for us, or even mess about with drugs. Nothing seems to make us cheerful anymore. Like a black cloud over our heads: it just won't go away.
Lots of things can lead to depression. It can be a result of lots of stress or bad experiences. It can run in families. Some people are just naturally prone to it.
When the symptoms of depression combine it can be like a downward spiral. For example, having no energy makes you stop wanting to go out, but when you stop going out you start feeing isolated and unwanted, so you feel even worse - and so it goes on.
This makes it very difficult to 'snap out of it', however hard we try.
If someone's very depressed, antidepressant medication may help them to feel better more quickly.
However, most doctors prefer not to prescribe these medicines for young people. Talk to your GP. Doctors see people suffering from stress and depression every day. They'll think you're brilliant for noticing what's wrong and asking for help.
There are lots of ways to get better.
Talk to someone you trust. It's best to speak to your family if you can.
Eat right: Eat balanced. Eat fresh. And most importantly - eat green. Green veg may not be everyone's cuppa tea. But it is good for beating depression.
Exercise: Studies show regular exercise has the same impact as some antidepressant medication. And no drug gives you a cute butt into the bargain.
Quit alcohol, drugs and cigarettes: detox the mind. It's time to think straight.
Most importantly, see your GP who'll have lots of advice. They might also recommend you see a counsellor or therapist. These experts help us figure out what's gone wrong. And how to put things right.
Being depressed isn't your fault. And getting help doesn't make you a weak person. It just means you want to get your life back on track - sooner rather than later.
Find out about living with mental health issues and get practical tips.
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