We all feel low or down at times, but if your negative emotions last a long time or feel very severe, you may have depression.

Depression is a mood disorder where you feel very down all the time.

Depression can happen as a reaction to something like abusebullying or family breakdown, but it can also run in families.

Depression often develops alongside anxiety. 

It's not the same as manic depression, which is another term for bipolar disorder. 

Depression is one of the most common types of mental illness. Although it's hard to feel optimistic when you're depressed, there is lots of support available to help you feel better.

The symptoms of depression

Depression affects different people in different ways. Symptoms can include:

  • not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed
  • avoiding friends or social 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

Just because you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re definitely affected by depression. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis.


  • Family Lives have some great pages on a range of issues

  • Young Minds is a fantastic website and helpline with a section designed just for parents

  • NHS provide an extensive list of a variety of places to get specific and general mental health support

  • Mental Health Org have some great tips for dealing with the everyday and with the more challenging times

  • Place2Be is another fantastic and friendly service with a wealth of guidance for you and your child

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