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I think I have depression

Hi there Sam, i've been having trouble with depression for the past 4 years; Although i haven't been diagnosed i'm almost 100% certain that it is depression. I have no motivation towards anything and i'm constantly sad. It has been getting worse recently and i don't know what to do about it, I can't tell my friends, family or teachers because i'm terrified of what they will think. Depression and other mental disorders have a lot of stigma surrounding them which is why I believe people will think badly of me. I also believe that some people will think that i'm over-exaggerating and/or making it up.

I'm writing to you because i could really do with some advice. Many thanks, J*.

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Sam

Hi J*,

Four years is a long time to struggle with any condition that seems to be getting worse. And no one has to cope with it alone. 

Sometimes people say they feel depressed when they’re having a bad day and life seems really hard or it feels like no one understands. And it’s normal to feel down sometimes. But if sad thoughts and feelings are stopping you from enjoying your life or making you feel that life isn’t worth living then it could be depression.

Some of the symptoms of depression are: feeling sad or anxious most of the time, feeling tired and negative, not enjoying things and having little or no motivation, problems sleeping, having mood swings or not wanting to see people or to go out. If these feelings continue for a long time, or they get worse, it could be the time to get checked out.

Depression is a mental health illness that can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. It can affect anyone, young people and adults, at any time. It’s important to know that it can be treatable by therapy or medication, and the first step in getting help and support is by speaking to someone. You’ve done a really brave thing by taking this first step and talking to me about this.

In order to get help with your depression, you could talk to an adult you trust, like a family member or teacher. But if this seems too difficult, perhaps you could contact a counsellor at Childline who would listen and support you in a non-judgemental way.

It’s likely that if you speak to an adult or a counsellor, they’ll suggest getting checked out by your doctor. This is because your doctor will be able to find out if you have depression and talk though with you the types of treatments available depending on your symptoms.

Checking out the message boards would mean that you can see how other people are coping with depression and how they support each other. And you could also find more help and support on Young Minds

Take care for now,

Sam

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