Helping you get through life
Everybody gets down sometimes. But if you stay down for a while, or it's stopping you living your life, you might actually be depressed.
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.
Depression is different in everyone, but here are some common indications:
Lots of things can lead to depression. It can be a result of lots of stress or bad experiences. It can also run in families, but some people are just naturally prone to it.
Whatever the cause is, 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health issue over the course of one year so if you are feeling down, you really aren't on your own.
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: balanced, fresh, and most importantly green. Green veg may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is good for beating depression.
Exercise. Studies show regular exercise has the same impact as some antidepressant medication.
Quit alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and 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. You get more advice from mental health charity Mind.