Depression and low mood

Depression is a long-lasting low mood disorder. Depression is when you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. It affects your ability to do everyday things, feel pleasure or take interest in activities.

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.

General guidance with depression and low mood

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression affects people in different ways. Most people feel sad or hopeless and there are a range of other symptoms.

Depression can affect your mind, body and behaviour.

You might feel:

Physical symptoms can include:

  • tiredness and lack of energy
  • moving or speaking more slowly
  • sleep problems: finding it hard to get to sleep or waking up very early
  • changes in your weight or appetite
  • constipation
  • no sex drive and/or sexual problems
  • unexplained aches and pains.

You might behave differently. You may:

  • avoid other people, even your close friends
  • find it hard to function at work, college or school
  • find it difficult to make decisions or think clearly
  • be unable to concentrate or remember things.

Further links and resources for depression and low mood

Living Well Mental Health support–adults–children-and-young-people


Self Assessment for Depression

There are many symptoms of depression, including low mood, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, lack of energy and problems with sleep. The more symptoms someone has, the more likely they are to be depressed. Developed by Drs Robert L Spitzer, Janet BW Williams & Kurt Kroenke with a grant from Pfizer Inc. Not intended to replace a consultation with a GP

Rethink Mental Health – Guidance to depression and low mood

A site that might be useful to you if you have depression or if you think you might have depression. It explains the causes, symptoms, and treatments of depression. The information may also help you if you’re a carer, friend or relative of someone living with depression.

Mood Swings Network

This service provides a range of services for people affected by a mood disorder such as depression, including their family and friends.

Counselling Directory

This website has lots of information about depression and other self-help resources.