Mental wellbeing for young people

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When is feeling low actually something more ... when is it depression?

Chi-Chi photo Chi-Chi · 17 Aug, 2020

Since lockdown I’ve been feeling really low. I don’t enjoy anything any more and feel like I’m just going through the motions of living. My exams got cancelled and I had a gap year planned that I can’t go on and now I’m not really doing anything. My Dad thinks I am depressed but I just don’t really care what happens any more, what’s the point? So how do you know when you are depressed, and when is it just that there isn’t really much to be happy about?

Aaron, 16

Hi Aaron,

We all experience periods where we feel low in mood, but depression more than this in that the low mood tends to occur most days of the week for several weeks if not longer. Alongside this, there are other symptoms to look out for, including a feeling of being more tired than usual and not being able to enjoy things that you previously enjoyed. Some people with depression notice that their sleep, appetite and concentration are also affected.

Depression is not just a feeling, it impacts on how you are around others too. It might mean, for example, that you are not spending time with your friends or speaking to them as much. You may also become very withdrawn, either at home or at school.
It is an extremely difficult time for many people because everyone's lives have been disrupted by COVID-19, alongside the usual challenges of life. If the above symptoms of depression do describe your current situation, it would be worthwhile seeing your GP to see what their view is.

I would reassure you that even if you are depressed, it doesn't mean that you would automatically be put on medication. There are often simple steps that can be taken; like exercising more or having talking therapy.

Chi Chi


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