We sometimes use the word ‘depressed’ to describe when we are feeling unhappy or low, but depression is different from having an everyday case of the ‘blues’. When we are depressed the feelings can go on for weeks at a time and they sometimes interfere with our ability to cope with the rest of our lives.

What causes it?

It’s natural to go through a time of feeling low after something upsetting has happened. After the death of someone close to you or going through a big upheaval like your parents splitting up you are likely to feel sadness and grief at the change and loss. If you feel stuck in those feelings and can’t move on from them then this can be a sign you are depressed.

How do I know if I’m depressed?

Depression can effect you in lots of different ways.

How you feel
You might feel overwhelming sadness, guilt, anger, hopelessness. Sometimes people describe just feeling ‘numb’.

How you think
You may be much more self-critical and blame yourself, think that you’re no good at anything, find it much harder to make decisions, and/or find it difficult to concentrate. Sometimes people have thoughts of suicide.

How you behave
You may find you don’t have the motivation to do the things you usually enjoy, you may not want to be around other people, you may cry more than usual.

Physical effects on your body
Depression can have a physical effect too, like sleeping too much or too little, having a lack of energy, overeating or a loss in your appetite; even unexplained aches and pains can all be a sign of depression.

We all go through times when we feel low or unhappy. Sometimes we know what has made us feel that way and other times we have no idea. Having a chat to a friend or doing something fun can take your mind off things and the feeling eventually passes by itself. Remember, it’s normal to go through periods of feeling low – we can’t be happy all of the time!

If you notice that you’ve been feeling really low for weeks at a time and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better then you might want to look for some extra support to help you feel okay again.

Call us: 0808 808 9120

Text us: 0789 688 0011

Email us: confidential@otrbristol.org.uk

The Resilience Lab has some tips for your self-care toolbox!

Get the basics right
We know it can be tempting to let all the simple stuff that helps go out the window, but eating right, getting some rest and getting some exercise will help improve your mood.

Make a list
We often lose motivation for or forget all the things we love to do when we’re feeling depressed. Make a list of the things you normally enjoy doing to give yourself a reminder every time you feel uninspired.

Keep connecting
We know it’s hard when you feel like hiding away from everybody, but being in touch with people can keep you grounded and keep stuff in perspective. Keep it light – you don’t have to plan any major events with friends, you could start by sending a text or having a quick 5 min chat with someone you know makes you laugh.

Notice the good things when you can
Gratitude – where you practice being thankful each day even for really little things in your life – can have a positive impact on your mood. Keep a diary where you jot down two or three things each day that you’re grateful for.

You deserve the best!
Allow yourself to have some good experiences and treats when you feel low.

Get Mindful!
Mindfulness, a form of meditation, has been proven to reduce the symptoms of depression. Just 10 minutes a day can make a difference. We recommend Headspace as a good place to start to find out more.

More info and support: www.thecalmzone.net


You don’t have to do this on your own! If you notice that you’ve been feeling really low for weeks at a time and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better then you might want to look for some extra support to help you feel okay again.

Get in touch!

Call us: 0808 808 9120

Text us: 0789 688 0811

Email us: confidential@otrbristol.org.uk