Depression is a feeling of low mood that you just cannot shake off or get out of. Some people describe it as a dark fog, a deep hole or even a black dog. It is more than just feeling down for a couple of days, it is a systematic destruction of your life where you feel helpless and hopeless.

Symptoms that are a sign that you are suffering from depression include:

  • Feeling down for most of the day
  • Loss of motivation to do things you used to enjoy
  • Feeling weepy
  • Feeling that things are too much for you
  • Low confidence/self-esteem
  • Feeling lonely
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Inability to concentrate and remember things
  • Extremely low levels of energy
  • Thoughts you and others would be better off if you were dead (suicidal thoughts)

Stress will affect everybody at some point in their life. If you are over stressed, you might be feeling strained by so much emotional or mental pressure that you feel you are no longer able to cope.

When you are stressed your body floods with hormones that help you to rise to a challenge. These are the same hormones released when we are under attack which trigger a fight or flight, freeze, fawn, flop response in dangerous situations. A continually elevated level of stress in your life will mean that your body is topped up each day with these hormones and can lead to stress becoming a problem for you.

Signs that your stress is becoming an issue:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Short temper
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling uneasy
  • Mind racing/repetitive thoughts
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

If you recognise any of the above symptoms for depression and stress, rather than ignore your symptoms or hope they will go away the best thing to do is acknowledge and tackle them.

Immediate things you could do:

  • Try to get active even if it is walking up the road
  • Set yourself mini goals that you can easily achieve
  • Join a group activity
  • If you have cut yourself off from loved ones/friends reach out to them
  • Tackle your sleeping and eating habits
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Start mindfulness or yoga
  • Give yourself time, depression does not go away overnight


Talking things through with somebody impartial may help to reduce your stress in which case you might benefit from considering counselling