What is Low Mood & Depression?

Depression is a common mental health problem. At least 1in 6 people experience depression at some time. It can affect anyone of any age including children. In the most severe form depression can be extremely distressing. It can prevent us from enjoying life or and can affect our ability to do everyday things.  Depression is not something you can just ‘snap out of’ and you may need help. 

In its mildest form is can be seen as low mood. Sadness in an emotion all humans feel, and it can be fairly common to feel low after major life events or distressing situations. Periods of low mood can sometimes seem to come out of the blue and for no obvious reason, but it does not always mean something is wrong.

A person with low mood may feel tired, lacking confidence, frustrated, angry and worried but this can be improved by making small changes you that will usually help improve your mood.

What is the difference between low mood and depression?

The difference between low mood and depression is with low mood symptoms will often pass after a couple of days or weeks. While depression is a long-lasting low mood disorder and the persistent feelings of sadness or sometimes numbness can be quite severe and lasts for weeks or months at a time. 

Depression can affect person in many different ways, but some symptoms are: 

  • Lacking motivation to do things & losing interest enjoyment in things you did enjoy
  • Feeling upset sad, guilty, or even numb
  • Feeling isolated, or alone even if you are in company
  • Feeling restless, anxious, tired, and lacking energy 
  • Struggling with sleep or even sleeping too much
  • Having lots of negative thoughts or wishing you were not here or wanting to hurt yourself
  • Poor memory or concentration 
  • Avoiding seeing people and losing confidence in yourself
  • Never feeling quite 100%
  • It is very common for a depressed person to have thoughts of suicide. This can be very difficult to cope with.
What can lead to low mood and depression?

There is no one cause for depression but is likely a number of difficult circumstances. Life can be difficult at times and loss and loneliness, relationship problems, difficult circumstances, childhood experiences may all play an important part in depression.

Self Help

Sometimes it helps to do the things you enjoy first and to challenge negative thoughts by getting a more balanced view of life. For some it is important to understand why you might be feeling the way you are and to learn how negative thoughts and behaviours can keep you feeling depressed. It might be that you want to speak to your GP about how you are feeling and explore your options. 

Useful websites and resources

Move Mood is a great free app designed to help you manage the behaviours associated with low mood and depression.

Think Ninja is an app designed specifically for 10-18 year olds which has loads of ideas and skills to manage low mood, stress and anxiety.

The Charlie Waller Trust has a huge range of free resources which can be read, watched, listened to or downloaded

What support is available from the Youth Trust
  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust
    Sometimes talking to someone like a counsellor can give you that space to be able to share confidentially the difficulties you are experiencing. CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) can help you overcome depression by helping you change the way you do things and change the way you think, which will in turn changes the way feel.