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What is depression?

Most of us feel down now and again. But when you feel sad, lonely and anxious, these feelings won’t go away and they’re stopping you doing what you’d normally do, then you may be depressed.

Depression happens on a sliding scale from mild all the way through to severe. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming it stops you from doing anything at all. It can also be a symptom or part of other illnesses, for example people with bipolar disorder can move between periods of depression and periods of hypomania (feeling high, on top of the world, and feeling capable of doing virtually anything).

What does depression look like?

When you’re depressed you may:

  • feel tired and lack energy
  • struggle to sleep
  • lose interest in things you normally enjoy
  • put on or lose weight
  • get easily bad-tempered
  • not want to hang out with friends

Sadly, some people get to a point where they feel life’s hardly worth living anymore.

When does it happen?

If you're struggling to cope with a stressful situation in your life it could lead to depression. Or depression can result from a build-up of lots of small problems which leave you feeling stuck and isolated.

How is it treated?

If you’re depressed, help and treatment are available to help you get better:

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • talking therapies
  • exercise
  • meditation
  • medication (such as anti-depressants)

Top tips for thriving

Try and eat well

Try and eat well: when you are low in mood your appetite is often affected, try and make sure you continue to eat a healthy diet even if you don’t feel like it, to avoid losing weight and feeling physically unwell and tired.

Speak to someone quickly if you're having thoughts of not being able to continue

Set small goals: when you feel low in mood it is hard to feel motivated to achieve anything and even the smallest tasks can feel overwhelming, try setting yourself one small goal each day, this can be as small as walking to the local shop, or phoning a friend.

Keep up with friendships

Keep up with friendships: when you are low in mood it can sometimes feel hard to see people and it is easy to lose touch. Try and keep in contact with friends and going out to see them, this will give you people to talk to and reduce the risk of you becoming isolated which can make depression worse.

Speak to someone quickly if you're having thoughts of not being able to continue

If you feel really low and have thoughts of not being able to continue it is important you speak to someone quickly, in Bradford you can speak to first response on 01274 221 181, or make an emergency appointment with your GP or attend A&E

Need urgent help?

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