Most people feel sad, fed up, unhappy or low at some point in their life - this is completely normal. It can be because of what is happening in our life such as the death of someone close, a relationship issue, health troubles or problems at work and sometimes it just appears out of nowhere.
We know that most of the time it won't affect us for too long but if it does go on for a while, we get stuck. It can feel as though the unhappiness and other symptoms of depression have taken over our lives.
Depression is not just an occasional low mood and it does not mean that you are a weak person. It is a recognised condition that can affect the whole body as well as our mood and how we think.
Everyone is different and so the symptoms of depression can vary. They may include:
• unshakable or constant low mood
• feeling helpless or hopeless
• low self-esteem and self-confidence
• experiencing lots of negative thinking (being self-critical or pessimistic)
• feeling irritable or impatient
• finding it difficult to concentrate or make decisions
• feeling numb, empty, and tired
• experiencing changes in sleep pattern
• changes in eating habits
• avoiding doing the things you normally enjoy including seeing family or friends
• experiencing thoughts about hurting yourself or that things might be better if you were dead.
However it doesn’t have to continue. There is support and effective treatment out there that can help you manage your depression and improve your quality of life.
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.