I feel really down
Difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression.
It could be relationship problems, bereavement, sleep problems, stress at work, bullying, chronic illness or pain.
Sometimes it's possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason.
What's the difference between low mood and depression?
A general low mood can include:
- feeling anxious or panicky
- low self-esteem
But a low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks.
Making some small changes in your life, such as resolving a difficult situation, talking about your problems or getting more sleep, can usually improve your mood.
A low mood that doesn't go away can be a sign of depression.
Symptoms of depression can include the following:
- low mood lasting 2 weeks or more
- not getting any enjoyment out of life
- feeling hopeless
- feeling tired or lacking energy
- not being able to concentrate on everyday things like reading the paper or watching television
- comfort eating or losing your appetite
- sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep
- having suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself
Depression can also come on at specific points in your life, such as the winter months (seasonal affective disorder, or SAD) and after the birth of a child (postnatal depression).
When to get help for low mood or depression
Whatever the cause, if negative feelings don't go away, are too much for you to cope with, or are stopping you from carrying on with your normal life, you may need to make some changes and get some extra support.If you're still feeling down after a couple of weeks, talk to a professional.