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Depression and Low Mood

Most young people experience ups and downs during their teenage years, and occasionally will feel down or upset by certain things going on in their lives. But some young people feel sad, lonely, down, and anxious or stressed for longer periods of time to the extent that it can affect their everyday lives and can prevent that young person from doing things they would normally do.

What is the difference between low mood and depression?

A general low mood can include:

  • Sadness
  • An anxious feeling
  • Worry
  • Tiredness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Frustration
  • Anger

A low mood will tend to improve after a short time. Making some small changes in your life, such as resolving a difficult situation or talking about your problems and getting more sleep, can improve your mood. 

A low mood that doesn’t go away is known as depression. Many difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression: family problems, bullying, pressures from school, bereavement, illness, and pain being just a few.

Symptoms of depression are:

  • Not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed,
  • Not wanting to meet up with friends or avoiding 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.

This video, from the World health Organisation, explains what depression is and how it can affect people.

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Free, safe and anonymous support can be found on Kooth.

There is also some information on Young Minds about depression.

If you are aged 16 or over, Lincolnshire has a service called steps2change and young people can self-refer.