do you ever feel depressed?
A YoungMinds Booklet
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We a l l h a v e t o d e a l w i t h d i f f e r e n t k i n d s For a small number of people, feeling down or depressed can go
on for a long time so they can’t get on with their everyday lives.
of feelings and emotions But if you’re feeling down or depressed in any way, then this
d booklet is for you.
Sometimes we feel h a p p y and e x Why do I feel like this?
At other times, we’ll feel s a d and d o ‘Mum walked out on me and my brother, and dad got a job in
wn another part of the country so we had to move. Mum didn’t
want to see us any more, because she said she had a new life.
There are plenty of things that might make you worry. But
Dad started drinking. It’s like I lost everything I knew.’
people feel and react to different things in different ways. It’s
normal to feel stressed, anxious or lonely from time to time, or There are lots of things that can make you feel down or
that no-one understands us. But for most people, these feelings
come and go. Over the page are just some examples...
page 4 if someone close to
you is ill, or dies
worrying about how you look
✪ page 5
feeling guilty or responsible
for someone else’s behaviour your sexuality feeling left out How do I know if I’m feeling depressed?
and not being
part of a group ‘ I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I was always daydreaming, and
moving or leaving home feeling useless wanted to sleep a lot. I couldn't be bothered to do anything.
and worthless arguing with Sometimes when I felt really low it was scary, and I’d start messing
having a parent or friends or family about at school, getting into trouble. Anything not to feel like that...’
carer who is changes in your family
depressed or worried or becoming part of a It’s ok not to feel positive or happy all the time. It’s always good
thinking things will
about other things new family to talk to someone about how you feel to understand more and
never get better
feel more in charge. If you feel like harming yourself it’s
having trouble with worrying about exams important to get help.
your boyfriend or or getting disappointing being bullied at
girlfriend, or even results school or elsewhere If it is hard to talk to someone you know, there are a lot of
just a close friend places that offer advice and help. Some organisations are listed
feeling you have at the end of this booklet.
if you have
if someone close to no-one to talk to and that been abused
you moves away no-one understands you
page 6 page 7
People show they are unhappy in different ways...
✪ Wa y s t o h e l p a f r i e n d i f t h e y ’ r e u n h a p p y
lying or making
feeling life is
not worth living ✪ worrying
or feeling depressed
✪ listen and try to be sympathetic
eating a lot more or a lot being moody or
less than usual irritable or snappy ✪ don’t expect them just to snap out of it
to go out
✪ don’t criticise or tease them
having trouble sleeping crying a lot
feeling like harming yourself ✪ try and get them to talk about how they feel
or having bad dreams
✪ be patient and allow them time to talk
feeling no-one likes you
stealing things or feeling lazy or bored or people are talking ✪ try and help them look for help
getting into trouble and tired a lot behind your back
Maybe you recognise some of these in yourself or in a friend?
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Wa y s t o h e l p y o u r s e l f It’s important that anyone who feels depressed finds ways to cope.
There are often good reasons why you feel down. So if you’re
’After I felt depressed a few times I knew I’d always come out of feeling depressed, don’t be afraid and don’t panic.
it, and just tried to do things to distract myself till it passed. That
helped a bit. It was horrible thinking it might come back though. And always remember, feeling sad and unhappy will come to an
In the end I went for counselling, which helped me feel more in end, even if you sometimes find it hard to imagine.
control of my life.’
‘I didn’t think I could talk to anyone I knew. I thought it would
✪ You might find it good to…
make a tape of your
just make things worse. I couldn’t talk to my friends about it favourite music write things down
do some drawing
because I didn’t think they would take it seriously. I just felt in a diary
completely alone. I wrote to a problem page and they encouraged
me to phone a helpline. Once I did that they helped me have more write a poem or song
listen to some music
confidence to get help.’
✪ These things may help you understand how you feel.
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There are lots of other things which might help you feel Ta l k t o s o m e o n e
better, at least for some of the time.
Talking to someone might help you feel more able to cope. Try
The important thing is to do something that you enjoy.
and talk to someone you like and trust. This might be a…
Here are just some ideas...
✩ friend ✩ brother or sister ✩ grandparent
✩ parent or carer ✩ aunt or uncle ✩ friend’s parent
watch something get outside in
you enjoy on TV the fresh air Other people you could talk to could be a...
✩ teacher ✩ school counsellor ✩ social worker
✩ school nurse ✩ youth worker
try a sport like swimming or eat regularly and
jogging or dancing – even just as healthily as you can They may be able to come with you to talk to someone else or
go for a walk
may be able to phone someone for advice if you don’t want to
do it yourself. They may be able to help and reassure you that
they sometimes feel the same way.
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Even if you can’t control what is making you feel unhappy – for will be confidential – that is, they will not tell anyone what you
example, if adults close to you are always arguing, or if tell them. But if your health or safety is at serious risk then
someone you know is unwell – it’s still important to get help. your doctor may want to tell your parent or carer. You may want
to speak to your doctor first about this and explain that you
If you speak to a t e a c h e r they can listen and may give you want what you say to be confidential.
some advice. If you want, they can speak to someone to try and
help sort things out or arrange for you to see a school If you speak to a counsellor or therapist, or someone who is a
counsellor. Maybe you have a school counsellor you can see specialist in young people’s difficulties, they will be very sympathetic.
without talking to the teacher. They will give you the time to think about what you are going through.
They are trained and used to talking to people who have all sorts of
If you speak to a d o c t o r they should be sympathetic, listen worries. They will respect confidentiality and, if you agree, they may
and offer you some advice. Sometimes doctors prescribe offer to meet you, together with other people who matter to you.
tablets, which can be helpful if you are feeling very depressed. You can also find out about places where young people can go for help
They can also refer you to a specialist who is trained to help through Youth Access (address is at the end of this booklet).
young people with problems. What you talk to the doctor about If you are nervous you can always take a friend with you.
✪ The Line
Freepost NATN 1111
London E1 6BR
✆ Carers UK
Freephone: 0808 808 4994
(7 days a week, 1.00pm-11.00pm)
Cruse Youth Helpline for young people
aged 12-18: 0808 808 1677
0808 808 7777 (Wed & Thurs Email:
Help section Freephone: 0800 88 44 44
(Mon - Fri, 3.30pm-9.30pm.
Day by Day Helpline: 0870 167 1677
020 8514 1177
Weekends, 2.00pm-8.00pm) www.carersonline.org.uk Finds young people the best help (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm) (Mon–Fri, 10.00am–1.00pm
ChildLine Provides free confidential advice, Provides advice and information whatever the problem. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and 7.00pm–10.00pm)
Freepost NATN 1111 counselling and support to for people who care for Connects young people to www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk Email: email@example.com
London E1 6BR young people with any partners, relatives organisations that can Youth website: www.rd4u.org.uk Confidential crisis telephone counselling
Freephone: 0800 1111 (24 hours) problem who are living or friends. help them. Offers counselling, information and for children, young people and adults.
Textphone: 0800 400 222 away from advice to anyone who has been Careline can refer callers to other
(Mon-Fri 9.30am-9.30pm. home. bereaved and those who organisations and support
Weekends 9.30am-8pm) Frank care for them. groups throughout
www.childline.co.uk Call free and confidentially on: Youth Access the country.
ChildLine is the free, confidential 24 hour Protection Helpline 0800 77 66 00 1-2 Taylors Yard
helpline for children and young people Freephone: 0808 800 5000 (24 hours)
(24 hour service. If you call from a 67 Alderbrook Road
concerned about any problem. Lines Textphone: 0800 056 0566 (24 hours)
landline the call is free and won’t show London SW12 8AD
can be busy, but please keep on Sexwise Asian Freephone: 0808 096 7719
up on your phone bill. Also provides language Signposting Service: 020 8772 9900
trying and you will Freephone: 0800 28 29 30 (Mon–Fri 11am–7pm) interpreting service for non-English speakers.) (Mon-Fri, 9.00am-1.00pm and 2.00-5.00pm)
get through. (Mon-Sun, 7.00am-Midnight) CYMRU/Wales Freephone: 0808 100 2524 Textphone: 0800 917 8765 (24 hours) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Textphone: 0800 328 1651 (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm)
Email: email@example.com www.youthaccess.org.uk
(Mon-Sun, 7.00am-Midnight) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.talktofrank.com A national membership organisation for youth
Confidential information and advice for information, advice and counselling agencies.
Sexwise offers free and A confidential service offering counselling, Provides information on youth agencies
anyone concerned about their own
confidential advice about information and advice for children,
or someone else’s drug or to children and their carers but
sex, relationships and young people and families
solvent misuse. does not provide
contraception. in need.