What does Depression feel like?


What is depression?
Everybody has days when they feel low, upset or unhappy. Sometimes we know why we feel this way and other times we have no idea, we’re just having ‘a bad day’. Sometimes we use the word ‘depressed’ to describe how we’re feeling when really we are feeling fed up. But depression is something different from feeling sad; it’s when we have these feelings for longer than a few weeks and it begins to affect us every day.

What causes depression?
After we have been through something upsetting, it is quite normal to feel sad or low in mood. For example, when someone has died, leaving class mates behind,  your parents splitting up. After things like this it is  likely to feel sadness at the change and loss.

If you find the sadness won’t go away and if you have felt it for  more than a few weeks you may find that you have started to think quite negatively. Thinking negatively can become a habit and we may start to think negatively alot. This may be about situations that usually we would think pleasant thoughts about or even think that no body cares anymore.

What might i do and how might i feel? 

  • Feel an overwhelming sadness, guilt, anger and/or hopelessness
  • Feel numb
  • Feel you are not worth anything
  • Become more self-critical
  • Blame yourself
  • Feel tired all the time
  • Over eat or feel you aren’t hungary at all and not want to eat
  • Have sleep problems
  • Stomach upsets
  • Feel like crying
  • Stop doing things you would normally enjoy
  • For example, visiting some friends  may usually be something you would want to do. But if you have felt low in mood recently and felt some stress, then you may have began to think negatively you may find that you aren’t looking forward to visiting them as you normally would be. You may think “they don’t like me anyway, they think i’m boring”. When you have no proof that they think that at all. But thinking like this may be enough to put you off going, and you may then stay in instead of going out and enjoying yourself.  Staying in may then make you feel even more fed up.
This is known as the cycle of depression, look at the picture below and ask yourself if this has happened/happening to you?



A full list of how we can be affected can be found by looking at this booklet on depression provideded by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. The Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust website hosts many self help guides on a wide range of topics.  You can also listen to the guides, as well as download MP3 audio copies.

You could also look at the self help section of this website and follow a step by step guide on how to recognise depression, anxiety and sleep problems, and how to take small steps to take control. Also, the youth health talk website has experiences of depression, written by young people.

Making lifestyle changes can also have a positive effect on depression. For example looking at how your food will affect your mood or how to look after your mental health using exercise.

If you have tried to all these things and you don’t feel any better, you must speak to your GP, they will be able to talk to you about any treatments that could help.

If you are having suicidal thoughts you must speak to someone immediately. If you are thinking of ending your life you must:

  • Contact your GP immediately, if the GP surgery is closed there will be a telephone message or your call will be diverted to the GP out of hours service.
  • Attend your local Accident and Emergency department
  • Phone the Samaritans to talk to someone on 08457 90 90 90
  • If you have already created a ‘keep safe plan’ please refer to this plan of who you feel is best to contact.

Below are different local and national services that can offer you support. They are a mixture of helplines, websites and places in your area that can help.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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