Depression can happen to anyone. Every year one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem, with depression being one of the most common. There are a number of reasons why someone might become depressed and it is usually a combination of factors. The good news is that depression is treatable and it is important that you seek help.
Everyone feels down sometimes, but if your feelings are interfering with your life and you have a persistent sad, low mood that stays with you it could be a sign you are depressed. If you are experiencing four or more of the symptoms below most of the day, every day for more than two weeks, you might want to see your doctor or access other help.
You can find out more about the symptoms of depression, warning signs of depression in students and how depression might affect you by reading the information below.
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Noticeable changes in appetite - either you stop eating or you eat all the time
- Stomach problems, including constipation or diarrhoea
- Feeling tired and lacking in energy most of the time
- Feeling constantly restless and agitated
- Changes in your sleeping habit, e.g struggling to sleep, sleeping too much
- Changes to your menstrual cycle
- Crying a lot
- Losing interest in your sex life
- Feeling lethargic
- Feeling worse at a particular time each day, usually in the morning
- Self-harming (by cutting yourself, for example)
- Feeling irritable, impatient or intolerant of others
- Feel anxious, finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions
- Blaming yourself and feeling unnecessarily guilty about things
- Lacking self-confidence and self-esteem
- Being preoccupied with negative thoughts
- Feeling empty, pessimistic and despairing
- Having a persistent low mood or sadness
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Thoughts of suicide (ending your life)
- Taking part in fewer social activities
- Avoiding other people, even your close friends
- Losing interest in the things you used to enjoy
- Finding it hard to function
- Drinking more alcohol or taking other drugs more than usual
Only a doctor or mental health professional can diagnose Depression, so if you are worried please see your doctor. You could also take the results of this test along with you to use as a starting point in your discussion. If you have been diagnosed with depression, contact our Disability Team as you may be eligible for Disabled Students Allowance.
No one should have to face a mental health problem on their own and there is plenty of help available. Some of the options are listed here and in the section below;
- Doctor - contact your GP for an appointment to talk about how you are feeling.
- Wellbeing Team - access support via the Wellbeing Drop-In sessions, which are available on weekdays in normal working hours.
Samaritans - T: 116 123. They offer a 24/7 listening service.
Saneline – T: 0300 304 7000
York Nightline - T: 01904 323735. This is a listening students for students run by students.
Hopeline – T: 0800 068 4141. This is for people who are having suicidal thoughts, those worried about others or affected by suicide.
Students Against Depression is a brilliant site for university students and includes a self-help first steps programme.
MIND's guide to understanding Depression is very good and encourages people to talk about their Depression.