Illustration of depression

Managing low moods and coping with depression

What is depression?

If you’re feeling sad or lethargic or low, if you have problems sleeping, have lost interest in most activities or have given up the will to live, you might be experiencing depression.

Everyone can have periods of feeling sad about life, but if these feelings don’t pass or keep coming back, or are interfering with your normal life, you may want to talk to your GP to find out if these are signs of depression and to talk to a mental health professional for some help to feel better.

There are a range of emotional, mental, physical and behavioural symptoms that might indicate you are depressed. You may be experiencing symptoms which disrupt your ability to feel satisfied with what you are doing, at work or in your personal life, or you may be suffering severe functional impairments which mean you have to take sickness absences from work or ask for help to manage your home life.

Talking about how you are feeling to a mental health professional could help you. If you are worried about how your mood is impacting your life or perhaps you feel your mood is making your time at work more difficult apply now for support from Able Futures.

What causes depression?

Everything around you can affect your mental health - what you eat and drink, your activity levels, the amount of sleep you get, the people around you, what you see on TV or in the newspapers. These things won’t necessarily trigger you to suffer from depression, but there are a variety of reasons from life events, to our genes, to the way we think or the way we behave that can cause, or contribute to, depression.

With so many contributing factors, it means that around one in twenty adults experience an episode of depression each year, and depression is the third most common health condition that causes people to go to see their GP, according to The Work Foundation report "Symptoms of depression and their effects on employment".

You might be thinking “am I depressed or just sad or anxious or stressed?”. For many people depression and anxiety are experienced together, and some people may be more prone to feelings of stress if they have depression or anxiety. If you would like some support to help you manage your mood and cope better with depression, anxiety or stress apply now for Able Futures.

How can I help myself deal with depression?

You can talk to your GP about medication or other therapy that could help you deal with depression.

Taking an active role and finding small ways to look after yourself better can help in your treatment.

  • Get good sleep: This can help improve your mood and increase your energy levels.
  • Eat well: A nutritious diet can help you feel well and help you think clearly.
  • Keep active: Gentle activities like walking, swimming or yoga can release endorphins and boost your mood.
  • Take a shower: Looking after your hygiene can feel like it’s not a priority but small things like this can make a difference to how you feel.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol: You might think drugs or alcohol could help you cope with difficult feelings, but they can also make you feel a lot worse.

Find out how Able Futures could help your mental health at work if you are dealing with depression or something else is playing on your mind