What is it?
Feeling sad is a normal reaction to things that can happen in our lives. Everyone can feel like this at some point. BUT if you feel sad, lonely or miserable for most of the time and it goes on for ages it can become an illness much the same as if it was a physical pain that goes on for weeks – you would tell someone or go and see a doctor and get it sorted.
Not everybody behaves the same when they’re feeling low – it’s different for everyone. Here are some possible symptoms of depression:
• Feeling lonely, sad, tearful for long periods
• Feeling that no-one likes you or you don’t fit in
• Not eating well or eating too much
• Not sleeping well or not able to get up
• Taking drugs or drinking alcohol to make you feel better
• Not able to laugh at the things you used to find funny
• Not wanting to go out with friends and becoming withdrawn from all your usual activities
• These feelings lasting longer than a couple of weeks
What you can do.
It can be very hard to explain how you feel – it may be confusing and you may feel embarrassed or feel that it might just go away. You might feel that you are alone and no-one else will have felt like you or will understand you.
Did you know though that one in four people will have some type of emotional or mental health problem in their life???? Depression is a common problem that affects at least 2 in 100 children under the age of 12 and 5 in every 100 young people.
Its usually not just one thing but lots of things can make you feel low or sad – it’s not something that you could have done to prevent – it just happens - even to those people that you think it would never happen to.
Even famous people and celebrities have had depression Heath Ledger, JK Rowling, Jim Carrey and Robin Williams.
Here’s what you can do…..
• Be kind to yourself
• Talk to friends and family
• Try and write up how you are feeling in a diary or in poems
• Listen to music that makes you feel good not worse
• Get out in the fresh air for a walk or some physical exercise
• There are people who you can phone even 24 hours a day –see below for contacts
• Try and eat regularly and not just junk
• Go and see your Doctor if things don’t get any better – you may need counselling or alternative treatment
Who else can help?
There are lots of ways to get help – choices around talking with people, accessing support and finding out more about depression.
Talk to someone you can trust – they will want to help you – you’ll be surprised!
Sources of further information:
www.youngminds.org.uk Tel:0207 336 8445 9.30-5.30
www.connexions-direct.com Tel: 080 800 13 2 19
www.childline.org.uk Tel: 0800 1111 24 hours a day
www.samaritans.org Tel: 08457 90 90 90
Local support available
The Junction 78 Maldon Road Colchester Essex CO3 3AL Tel: 01206 541841
Teen Talk 17 Cliff Road Dovercourt Harwich Essex CO12 3PP tel: 01255 504800