Depression is a common mental health problem thought to affect 1 in 5 adults in the UK at some point in their lives. It is characterised by feelings of low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, low energy, and poor concentration.
Of course it is quite normal for us all to have days when we feel down, often when we are experiencing times of stress or worry such as changes in our lives, relationship problems or stress at work. However, if it becomes difficult to manage these feelings or they persist, affecting day to day life, it may be a sign of depression.
Different treatments are recommended for different problems, so speaking to a GP or health professional may help you make informed choices about the care you would like. Talking therapies, self-help approaches, medication and exercise have all been shown to be beneficial in tackling depression.
Most people who are diagnosed with depression can be seen and treated by their primary care team and will go on to recover.
Some things you can do to keep yourself feeling well
- Exercise - research shows that this can be as effective as medication in reducing the symptoms of depression.
- Healthy eating - eating a well balanced diet can improve your mental health as well as your physical health.
- Avoid drugs and too much alcohol - you may feel drugs or alcohol make you feel better in the short term, but in the long term they may only make things worse.
- Talk about it - talk to friends and family. They may not know how you are feeling. They may be able to provide support and aid your recovery.