Depression

Depression is a mental health difficulty that involves persistent low mood. It impacts on the way people feel, think and behave. Depression can happen as a reaction to difficult experiences such as bullying, bereavement or family relationship difficulties. It can also happen without any obvious trigger or reason.

People with depression can feel a range of emotions including sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, irritability (anger), emptiness or numbness. People with depression often have negative thoughts about themselves, other people, the future or life in general. It can be hard to carry out usual routines and tasks including self-care (showering/ brushing your teeth), eating and sleeping.

People with depression often stop enjoying activities or seeing friends as they can feel tired and have no energy or motivation. People with severe depression, and/or depression that has been going on for a long time, sometimes have thoughts or urges to harm themselves or to end their lives. It is important to tell someone so that a safety plan that supports the person not to act on these thoughts can be put in place.

Depression isn’t something people can ‘snap out of’ or simply ‘cheer up’ from. It’s a medical condition that can affect many aspects of a person’s life if not treated. The good news is that depression is treatable and people can recover.

Top Tips

  • It is important to tell someone how you are feeling so that you are not alone. You could talk to a parent/ carer, teacher, health professional (school nurse or your GP). This is particularly important if you are having thoughts or urges to harm yourself or end your life. If you feel like this, (add hyperlink to Crisis button).
  • Following a basic daily routine and making sure that you still do the activities you need to do and do some other activities that you used to enjoy but have perhaps stopped doing because you are feeling depressed. Plan activities for the morning, afternoon and evening and try to stick to these even if you do not feel like it. Avoiding or withdrawing from activity is known to lower mood so make sure that you see friends, go to school/ college, do things you enjoy (or used to).
  • Look after yourself; eat well, sleep, get some fresh air daily, do exercise and avoid self-medication (for example using alcohol, drugs or caffeine)

Websites

www.healthtalk.org/young-peoples-experiences/depression-and-low-mood/topics

www.thecalmzone.net

www.lifesigns.org.uk

www.harmless.org.uk

www.papyrus-uk.org

Free Apps

  • Five Ways to Wellbeing
  • Diary Mood Tracker
  • Stay Alive
  • Well Mind
  • Mood Tools- Depression Aid

Videos

I had a black dog, his name was depression


CAMHS

Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is an NHS specialist service, provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for young people aged 5-18 years and their families who are experiencing difficulties with their mental and emotional health. Many young people experience difficulties with their mental health such as anxiety, low mood, trauma, eating difficulties, plus many others which can impact on all aspects of life such as education, home life, hobbies and interests, socialising and having fun.

It is important to know that everyone has mental health and that we can all experience tough times and this can cause our mental health to suffer. CAMHS work with young people, their families and other important organisations (such as schools) to achieve the following:

• Assess and diagnose mental health and neurodevelopmental difficulties
• Identify realistic goals or changes that you would like to make
• Identify and build on your strengths
• Improve self-esteem and confidence to cope with difficulties
• Learn emotional coping techniques to help manage difficult or upsetting thoughts, feelings, urges or experiences
• Empower you to identify, express and communicate your needs, take responsibility for your health and wellbeing and feel confident in knowing where and how to get additional support if necessary

CAMHS have put together a list of some of the things that you might be experiencing, or some of the difficulties that you might be having, and some top tips on how to manage them. This can be found on their website at: www.hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk