Have a look at the list below.
- Feeling tired and lacking energy
- Unable to think or concentrate
- Feeling sad, empty, tearful and down most of the day
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
- No pleasure or enjoyment in life generally
- Feeling worthless, hopeless
- Suicidal thoughts
- Weight loss or weight gain
If you have at least 5 of the above, and have had them for a minimum of 2 weeks, you may have depression. We all have times when we feel unhappy but depression is different because it can stay with us, badly affects our lives, and seems to stay, even when events around us improve. At its worse, we may feel so bad that we may begin to have suicidal feelings and thoughts.
It is not unsurprising to learn then that depression can also lead to self-harm and often occurs during times of anger, misery, fear, worry, anxiety or low self-esteem.
If you are depressed, you are not alone. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people become depressed at some stage in their lives. Depression can affect anyone: it may follow a clearly difficult life event, such as death, unemployment, or illness, or it can seem to strike “out of the blue”.
What to do?
Don’t suffer alone. Depression is not something that you can always “snap out of”, and help is needed.
Talk to your doctor. He or she may ask you to see a professional. Speak to someone in College and let them know how you are feeling.
Whether you are taking medication or not, counselling can be very helpful – in fact recent research has shown that counselling works as well, if not better, than antidepressants, in the treatment of depression.
If you are a College student, see your College Counsellor or ask to be referred to IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) who also work in College and specifically with depression and anxiety among other concerns.
If you wish to find a counsellor privately, contact;
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) find a therapist
BACP House, 15 St John’s Business Park, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 4HB, United Kingdom
When we are feeling in a low-mood or have depression it can be quite easy to deny things that would normally give you pleasure like going out, seeing friends or even exercising. Your motivation will be challenged and work itself can become challenging.
It is a well-known fact that exercise can lift your mood.
Feeling good about yourself is a key benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, so for example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as leaving you “happy” or ecstatic which in turn can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
Regular exercise has been proven to:
- Reduce stress
- Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
- Boost self-esteem
- Improve sleep
Spend some time with people who are naturally supportive with you. Isolating yourself from people can increase the feelings of depression.
With regards work, break down tasks in to manageable chunks and start with the easier jobs that need doing before continuing with the more difficult tasks. Take your time and allow yourself longer to get the job done.
When you achieve something then reward yourself, be kind to yourself. It could be as simple as having a soak in the bath or making your favourite food.
Last but not least seek out help with a professional who can support you in the changes you are making.
REMEMBER THAT DEPRESSION IS COMMON AND CAN STRIKE ANYONE AT ANY TIME. HELP IS AVAILABLE TO GIVE YOU BACK YOUR ENERGY, HAPPINESS AND PLEASURE IN LIFE.
Health & Wellbeing Centre – 01226 216233
IAPT – 01226 644900
72 Market Street
01226 211 188
Mental Health Access Team (MHAT) incorporating IAPT, Barnsley
Mental Health Access Team, Rose Tree Avenue, Barnsley, S72 8UA
Living Life to the Full Dr Chris Williams (interactive self-help);
Last updated: 20th July 2022