If sadness or feeling “low” is interfering with your everyday life and does not go away after two weeks, or if the feelings come back repeatedly for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you are experiencing depression.
Depression can range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness to losing interest in things which you have enjoyed before or feeling very tearful and vulnerable. Sometimes people who experience depression also have symptoms which can often be associated with anxiety. However, depression can also be associated with physical symptoms such as feeling constantly tired, experiencing bad sleep, or not feeling like you can get enough sleep, having no appetite or sexual drive or even having various aches and pains.
Depression does not look the same for everyone and when being diagnosed with depression you will either be diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe depression.
- Talking to a trusted person
- Spending time outside in nature
- Peer support
- Having a balanced diet
- Cutting down on alcohol
- Avoiding smoking
How can the University Support you?
If you feel like you are experiencing depression, you can get support from the University’s Mental Wellbeing advisers. You can request support from an adviser by using the Mental Wellbeing Referral Form.
What to do next?
Seek Support from GP
You can seek support from your General Practitioner (GP) who might refer you to more appropriate help and, in some cases, you might be offered anti-depressants in combination with therapy. The medication itself might not take away the cause of the depression but it may give you enough of a lift to take action to deal with the depression.
What should I do if I am worried about somebody else?
If you feel like you want to support them you should encourage them to engage in some form of exercise. Exercise has been shown the help individuals who are depressed. It might be a good idea for you to help arrange something as it could be difficult for the suffering person to initiate things. There is no one form of exercise which is better than another, it might be a good idea to start by asking them to take part in an exercise form that they like, for example if you know that they like to go swimming, encourage them to go swimming and if possible, maybe go with them. If they feel like it is difficult to commit to exercising, you could ask them to go for a short walk, this way you can easily go back home if it gets too much.
Another way to help someone with depression is to encourage the individual to do something that helps them relax. This could be watching a movie, listening to a podcast/music/mediation episode, drawing, etc. It is, however, essential that you do not encourage them to drink alcohol as it is a depressant and will ultimately make things worse for them.
It might seem like the right thing to do but please do NOT tell them about all the things they should be happy or grateful for or that they should simply snap out of it. Depression is an illness, and it is not the individual’s fault that they are suffering. If you do not feel like you can or want to deal with someone who is depressed that is totally ok. Instead talk to someone you trust and ask them to help the individual instead.
Last Updated: 29th August 2022