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What is Depression?

Many young people can experience periods of low mood, however, sometimes this can be persistent and affect many areas of daily life. Depression can mean a number of symptoms including feeling sad for much of the time, feeling irritable or angry, sleep problems and thoughts about life not being worth living. Young people may harm themselves to try and cope with feeling low and may also isolate themselves and withdraw from social activity. Someone with depression may think there is little hope and be reluctant or unable to seek help. Treatment for depression in young people is usually with talking therapy and sometimes medication can also help.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include:

–    not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed

–    not wanting to meet up with friends or avoiding situations

–    sleeping more or less than normal

–    eating more or less than normal

–    feeling irritable, upset, miserable or lonely

–    being self-critical

–    feeling hopeless

–    maybe wanting to self-harm

–    feeling tired and not having any energy.

How is it treated?

–    Talk to someone – The most important thing you can do if you think you are feeling depressed is talk to someone. This could be your parents, a sibling, friend, teacher, GP but often talking about how you are feeling can really help you to feel better.

–    Visit your GPIf you don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend, teacher or your parents, go and see your GP – they are there to help you to feel better whether it is a physical health problem or a mental health problem and there are a number of things that they may suggest for you

–    Treatment – The treatment you get will depend on the severity of the depression. Treatments can include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is a type of talking therapy and aims to help you understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Watch video clip

CAMHS consultant –  Dr Manjiri Lee explains Depression, the symptoms and treatments in this short video clip.


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