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Page written and resources collated by Emily Wheeler, Wellbeing Practitioner

Everyone has ups and downs. Sometimes you might feel a bit low, for lots of different reasons. People may say that they are feeling depressed when they are feeling down, but this does not always mean that they have depression. Depression is a long lasting low mood disorder. It affects your ability to do everyday things, feel pleasure or take interest in activities. Doctors might describe depression as 'mild', 'moderate' or 'severe'. Your doctor may offer you different treatments depending on how they describe it.

Depression can affect people of any age, including children. It is one of the most common mental illnesses. The number of people who have depression may be higher than this because not everyone with depression goes to their GP. Your doctor might say that you are going through a 'depressive episode'. This is the formal name that doctors give depression when they make a diagnosis. They may say that you are going through a 'mild', 'moderate' or 'severe' episode. If you have had repeated episodes of depression, your doctor might say that you have recurrent depressive disorder. If your doctor thinks that your episode of depression was caused by particular stressful events in your life, they may say that it is reactive. For example, divorce, job or money worries. This is sometimes separated from an adjustment disorder, where you may struggle with some symptoms of depression because of adapting to a major change in your life.


Self-help materials you can print, or download and save.

Resource Description
Depression (NHS) Online self help materials explaining symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and how to live well with depression
Royal Institute of Psychiatry Symptoms and causes
Treatment options
How to help yourself
Supporting others
Depression and Low Mood (NHS NTW Self-help guide) Detailed Self Help guide for people affected by depression


Android or iOS Apps (most apps that we recommend are those suggested in the NHS Apps Library)

App Description
Moodpath Helps manage depression and low mood

Places to get help

Local and national organisations, websites

Resource Description
Depression resources (Rethink) Information and resources
Support Groups throughout the U.K
Peer Support
Online eCommunity
Depression resources (Mind) Comprehensive materials covering all aspects of Depression etailed info about medication, personal stories and links to other support services for people living with Depression

Other Ideas

You might also want to think about

  • Stick to routines: Develop a healthy approach to exercise, diet and sleep
  • Make time for self-care: Allow space in daily life for relaxation/mindfulness/hobbiesand connecting with others
  • Understand and be aware of changes to your mood: Learning to managing stress which can trigger both manic and depressive episodes
  • Manage your money: Understand your relationship with money and the impact this can have on your mental health

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