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I think I have depression – what can I do?

While it’s normal for everyone to be sad or upset occasionally, if these feelings are intense, constant or are affecting your quality of life, you may be suffering with depression.

Depression can be very difficult to cope with. But there are a number of things you can do if you think you have depression. In this blog, we give some information on what the typical signs of depression are, plus information on what you should do next if you think you have depression.

I Think I’m Depressed – What Should I Do?

Check with common symptoms

If you think you have depression, a good place to start is to learn more about the condition itself, starting with the symptoms. There are a wide range of signs and symptoms of depression, but here are some key ones to look out for are:

Psychological symptoms of depression

  • Intense sadness – this might be so bad that you struggle to look after yourself or function in your daily life
  • Crying more often than usual and for no clear reason
  • Becoming angry and frustrated over minor things

Physical symptoms of depression

  • Crying more often than usual and for no clear reason
  • Feeling tired all the time and feeling as though you can’t get out of bed in the morning
  • Unexplained aches, pains and digestive problems

Learn more about depression  

There’s lots more you can learn about depression alongside the symptoms. It might help you to understand you experiences, why it might be happening, and what the best approach is to getting back on track. Start with some of the following:

What Should I Do if I Think I Have Depression?

Connect with others

If you think you have a mental health issue, it’s vital to try and open up and talk to someone about your depression so you can get the support you need. This could be a close family or friend, or it could also be in a more clinical environment when talking to your GP. In fact, if you think you do have depression, booking an appointment with your local GP is the best place to start, as you can get a medical diagnosis and objective advice on what to do next.

You could also look at joining a local club or group, such as a sports team, a book club or even volunteering. Things like this can act as a distraction from your negative thoughts, improve you wellbeing and help you to meet other people and form friendships.

Be realistic and practical

If you’re worried you have depression, it’s important that you set yourself realistic daily goals. These can include things like aiming to have a shower, get dressed and leave the house at some point every day. Also try to keep to a daily schedule such as cooking or eating at the same time. These practical steps can give you structure and purpose, and if you manage to achieve them every day, this can motivate you to gradually take on bigger goals.

Try to be positive

Even though being positive may seem to be impossible when you’re feeling so low, it’s really important that you try to cultivate a more positive outlook. A way of doing this is to write down three things you’re grateful for every night before you go to sleep and reflect on them when you wake up in the morning.

You can also take conscious steps to discover what makes you happy, whether these are certain people, activities, places or pets. When you have identified them, try to incorporate as many of them as possible in your daily life.

Look after your physical health

When we’re struggling with our mental health, our physical health can suffer and this can make us feel even worse in the long run. If you think you have depression, try to make an effort to look after yourself physically and you may find that this helps you to feel better mentally. Try to:

  • Exercise each day
  • Eat well
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Get enough sleep
  • Look after your hygiene and appearance

Get Professional Support for your Depression

While the above steps can help, it’s important to understand that you may need professional help to overcome depression.

At Priory, we provide specialist treatment for depression at our hospitals and wellbeing centres, including therapy, counselling or residential stays if needed. Through our support, we can help you tackle your symptoms, learn coping mechanisms for the future, and take steps towards the healthy, happy and fulfilling life you deserve.

There is no shame in saying that you need. At Priory, we offer world-class treatment for depression at sites across the UK. Call us today 0800 086 1131, or make an enquiry online, to speak to a professional about the difficulties you’ve been facing and discuss how Priory can help you to turn your life around.

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Page medically reviewed by Dr Leon Rozewicz (MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCGP, MRCPsych), Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director of Priory Hospital North London

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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