Depression and feeling sad

Everyone feels down sometimes. But if sad thoughts are stopping you from enjoying life or if you've been feeling low for a while, it's important to talk to someone.

feeling depressed at night

Depression can feel worse at night, especialy if you're on your own. Sometimes you might struggle to fall asleep or have difficult thoughts that keep you up. You could also be worrying about finding tomorrow hard.

Depression is a mental health issue that can have a big effect on your life and it's important to get help if you've been feeling down for more than a few days, or if you're feeling really low. A doctor can help you find out more about depression and get the help you need.

However hard things seem now there are ways to cope and feel better. If you can, try and wait to the morning before contacting Childline, when it'll be easier for you to speak to a counsellor. You could also email one of our counsellors and they'll reply within 24 hours. 

Advice right now

  • Plan something you can look forward to tomorrow
  • Listen to happy music or play your favourite game
  • Tell someone how you've been feeling in a letter
  • Use our wall of expression game to let go of difficult feelings
  • Make a list of things or people that make you smile, however small.

Why do people feel SAD OR depressed?

Depression can happen because of lots of different things, such as:

Sometimes there's no obvious reason for feeling depressed. And going through anything mentioned in the list above doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop depression. 

feeling...trapped, down

Talk to us about how you're feeling

You can talk to us about anything

It can seem like the hardest thing to do, but talking to someone about how you feel means you're starting to deal with your feelings.

If you keep your feelings to yourself, you can start to feel lonely and like you have to cope with everything on your own. Remember that you can always speak to a counsellor for free on 0800 1111 or on a 1-2-1 counsellor chat.

It could also be really helpful to talk to a friend, relative, teacher, parent or carer.

How depression can affect you

Depression affects people in different ways. It can make it hard to concentrate and lead to you feeling negative about everything and like you'll never feel okay again.

Feeling depressed can be really hard to deal with. Some people start to self-harm by hurting themselves, taking drugs, drinking a lot of alcohol or deliberately putting themselves in risky situations. It's really important to get help if you're doing this. 

It's common for many young people to have problems with food at some time in their lives. When some people become depressed they might find they also start to have problems with eating. They might try to starve themselves, overeat, vomit or use laxatives to lose weight after overeating. If you're worried about anything to do with eating, you can get help on our pages about eating problems.

Some people who experience really serious depression might feel so bad about themselves and their life that they think that the only way out is to kill themselves. If you're having suicidal thoughts or feelings or are worried about one of your friends, you're not alone and there's help for you. Please call a Childline counsellor for free on 0800 1111 or talk to someone you trust about it. 


Feeling depressed, sad or unhappy?

Signs and symptoms of depression

Many signs or symptoms of depression are just the same as when you feel down or sad. If you keep having these symptoms for a long time, or they get worse, then it might be time to talk to someone and tell them how you feel. 

Things that may mean you have depression are:

Olly Alexander from Years & Years talks about opening up