Everyone feels down, fed-up, miserable or sad from time to time. These feelings don't typically last longer than a few days or a week, and they don't impact too much on our lives. There might be a reason for the feelings, but sometimes they just come out of the blue. We can often cope with them ourselves or with support from our family or friends.
Sometimes, though, if we are feeling down and it is interfering with our ability to get on with our day to day lives it may be useful to seek support from a G.P., a counsellor or a support organisation.
You may be depressed or experiencing signs of depression, when:
The low mood or symptoms of depression last for two weeks or more, and
The symptoms interfere with your everyday life.
Common symptoms of depression include:
Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
Lack of interest in daily activities and in the things you enjoy
Lack of motivation
Sleeping too much, too little or having disturbed sleep
Comfort eating or loss of appetite
Tiredness or fatigue with no physical cause
Any of us can experience low mood or depression at any stage in our lives. It can interfere with our enjoyment of life and our ability to do the things we want to do. Getting help for low mood or depression can really make a difference. There are lots of different things that can help - some that you can do yourself and some that involve getting support from others.
Support for depression:
When thinking about support, it is important to recognise that everyone experiences mental health problems in a unique way and therefore help, treatment and support also varies from person to person. What works for one person may not for another. It is useful to think about what you feel will help you, and not to feel you are beyond help if a certain type of treatment doesn’t work out.
Little things can make a big difference
There are lots of things you can do to help mind your mental health. Find out more about the wellbeing benefits of little things, such as eating well, exercising, sleeping and spending time with friends.
Talking about how you feel, to someone you trust and who is supportive, can be a great help. Find tips for starting the conversation.
A G.P. can give you information about other supports that can be of help to you. He/ she may be able to recommend particular people or services that can help. A G.P. can also offer you medication, if necessary. Learn more about how a G.P. can help you.
Community & non-statutory services
You can access a wide range of supports and services from community and non-statutory organisations. Many of these services are low-cost or free. Aware and Grow run support groups that may be of help. Search for services in your local area.
A G.P. can recommend counselling services in your area. These might include free, low cost or private options.
Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone struggling to cope. For confidential, non-judgemental support please call 116 123, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.ie for details of the nearest branch.
Find out more
One of our partner organisations, ReachOut.com, developed a video about depression: