Low Mood and Depression

Everyone has spells of feeling down, but depression is more than just spending a few days feeling sad or unhappy. If our low mood continues or becomes more severe, it can lead to depression. Depression can make you feel persistently sad and down for weeks or months at a time.

Is it serious?

Depression is a condition that affects around one in 10 people over the course of their lives. It impacts people of all genders and ages – including children. Studies show that around 4% of children in the UK between the ages of five and 16 are depressed or anxious.

With the right support and treatment, most people recover fully from depression.

Depression can build up gradually, so you may not realise how much it is affecting you.

Symptoms of Depression

The NHS has a list of the symptoms of depression and also has a helpful self-assessment tool you could try.

Coping with Depression?

Dealing with depression can feel overwhelming, but remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. Below are some ways to manage depression or low mood:

Professional Support:

The effects of depression can be debilitating and it’s important to seek professional support if this is the situation for you. Your doctor will look at the best way to treat it, just as they would any physical ailment. For an idea of what types of therapies and treatments are available, you may find it useful to look at this section of the  NHS website.

If you are feeling low or depressed and need to reach out for support, you can also reach out to the Samaritans anytime, they have trained advisers that offer support through their helpline around the clock. Call them free on 116 123.

Support groups:

Joining a support group can also be a great way to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. It can be difficult to reach out to others when you feel this way, but taking that step to join a community such as a walking group or online social support group may help to switch your mind to a more positive area of focus.

We also offer regular Carer Support Groups – speaking to other carers may help you. LINK to carers groups

Lifestyle changes:

Making small lifestyle changes can also make a big difference in how you feel. Eating regular meals with a good variety of the main food groups and drinking the right fluids are important for maintaining a good mood. Too much caffeine or alcohol can cause your mood to plummet, so reducing your intake or cutting them out altogether could also help. LINK to eating well

Self-care:

Time is often very limited when you’re caring, but try to take small chunks of time to do therapeutic exercises for yourself, such as 10 minutes of yoga or taking five conscious minutes to observe nature. Some people find practising mindfulness a helpful tool. Headspace have useful mindfulness practices.

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to improve your well-being, check out the mental health charity Mind’s website.