Depression is a word that you hear more and more but what does it actually mean? You might feel really down and sad but this doesn’t always mean that you are depressed. It is not unusual to feel like this mainly because we can’t feel happy all the time.

Usually if we feel sad someone or something will help to pick us back up again but if you feel down for a long time it can start getting in the way of your everyday life. This is when sadness can become depression.  

The good news is that you don’t have to feel this way. Help is available - and you have more power over your mood than you think. There are many things you can do to start feeling better today.

What you can do…

  • Don't isolate yourself. Spend time with people you can talk to and who make you feel good.
  • Be smart about online time. Too much time online, especially on social media, can make you feel worse.
  • Exercise is a natural antidepressant, so move your body frequently - walk, play a sport, or ride your bike
  • Don't rely on drinking or drugs for a mood boost. They make depression worse.
  • Get plenty of restful sleep

 If you’ve stopped doing things you usually love, you’re tearful, not eating or sleeping properly, drifting from people close to you, taking alcohol or drugs to cope or self-harming, you should talk to someone you trust. If that’s not possible you could call The Samaritans on 116 123, email them using jo@samaritans.org or contact Childline on 0800 1111. Both offer free and confidential support and advice.