Depression

Everyone feels unhappy sometimes, but when it’s most of the time, you just can’t pull yourself out of it, or feel like you’re totally alone – that’s when depression is a more serious issue.

Some of the possible symptoms of depression include:

  • Total lack of energy.
  • A change in your eating habits.
  • Feeling weepy and not knowing why.
  • Having difficulty sleeping.
  • Being excessively irritable.
  • Using alcohol or drugs to alleviate stress.
  • Feeling out of control.
  • Mood swings.
  • Regular headaches.
  • Worrying about how you look, for example spots or your weight.
  • A lack of interest in your usual hobbies or friends.
  • Feeling you have no-one to talk to and that no-one understands you.

Lots of things can make you feel depressed, including:

  • If someone close to you is ill, or dies.
  • Worrying about your sexuality.
  • Exam stress.
  • Feeling left out and not being part of a group.
  • Having a parent or carer who is depressed or worried about other things.
  • Worrying about exams or getting disappointing results.
  • Being bullied at school or elsewhere.
  • If you have been abused or witnessed violence in your home.
  • Having trouble with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or a close friend.

The important thing is not to just ignore how you feel and hope it will just go away.

Here’s how you can help yourself:

  • Eat proper healthy meals.
  • Take regular exercise – something you enjoy.
  • Write how you feel in a diary.
  • Listen to your favourite music – something upbeat.
  • If there’s a hobby you enjoy, keep it up.
  • Talk to your friends and family, they’ll want to help you.
  • If there’s something particular worrying you, talk to someone you trust so you can decide together what to do next.
  • Talk to your doctor, you may need counselling or medication.
  • Know that you’re not alone and there are people who can help you just at the end of the telephone – see below for special helplines to talk to people who will listen, understand and help.

Who can help?

If you are looking for a local organisation or counsellor then check out the counselling directory. They hold a database of counsellors across the country.

The following organisations are also all available for you to speak to and are happy to help whatever the issue:

  • Childline
    www.childline.org.uk
    Free Tel: 0800 1111 (24 hours a day, 365 days per year)
    Textphone: 0800 400 222 (9.30am to 9.30pm weekdays – 9.30am to 8pm weekends)
  • Samaritans
    www.samaritans.org
    Tel: 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours a day, 365 days per year)
    Textphone: 08457 90 91 92
  • Young Minds
    www.youngminds.org.uk
    Tel: 0207 336 8445 (9.30am to 5.30pm weekdays)
  • CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably
    www.thecalmzone.net
    Free Tel: 0800 58 58 58 (Daily from 5.00pm to 3.00am)