Clinical depression is having a low mood, sadness or emotional numbness for an extended period of time. Feeling down or ‘blue’ from time to time is a normal experience in life, however if it isn’t resolved in a reasonable time, it could be clinical depression. Depression usually happens due to a combination of difficulties over time, rather than one event or issue. Recent events can result in depression, however, if you’re at risk due to previous problems or personal factors, you are more likely to experience it. There are different types of depression and it helps to know which one you are dealing with.

Signs of depression

Signs of depression can be emotional, physical or behavioural, including:

  • Sadness, worry, low mood
  • Irritable, anxious, fearful
  • Isolated and alone
  • Emptiness, despair
  • Grief, loss, sorrow
  • Feelings of failure and guilt
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Inability to cope with everyday matters
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Hopeless and helpless
  • Overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed
  • Emotional numbness
  • Low motivation and interest in things
  • Changes in your appetite or weight
  • Changes in your sleep patterns
  • Increase in alcohol or drug consumption

Reduce the risk of depression

  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Learning to be aware of and state the emotions you’re feeling, and why
  • Being connected socially with others who mean something to you
  • Getting sufficient sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a balanced diet

Dealing with depression

  • Visit your General Practitioner (GP)
  • If urgent, ring a help line immediately
  • Medication prescribed by your doctor
  • Psychological therapies
  • Talk with a loved one or friend about your feelings
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Play with and pat your pets, or find access to animals



  • Walking
  • Being in nature
  • Expressing yourself with art eg: drawing, painting
  • Relaxation, mindfulness, meditation
  • Listening to uplifting music
  • Yoga & pilates
  • Dancing and moving to music
  • Cycling
  • Running


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