What is Depression?

Sometimes people become depressed for what seems like a good reason, maybe they lost their job or a close friend passed away, but with clinical depression, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a reason for how you feel. The chemicals in the brain which are responsible for mood control may be out of balance causing you to feel bad even though everything in your life is going well. So, how do we respond to these two forms of depression?

  • Depression is a serious condition. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.

The symptoms of depression aren’t personal. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people he or she loves most. In addition, depressed people often say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.

NHS Article on Depression
  • Hiding the problem won’t make it go away. Don’t be an enabler. It doesn’t help anyone involved if you are making excuses, covering up the problem, or lying for a friend or family member who is depressed. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment. The only solution to overcoming a problem is not to shy away, but to face it.
  • You can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. Don’t try to rescue your loved one from depression. It’s not up to you to fix the problem, nor can you. You’re not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for their happiness (or lack thereof). Ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.

Sometimes depression can manifest itself when you don’t have a sense of meaning about yourself.

The human brain predicates the ability to be happy and contempt when it detects that you have a goal in mind and it envisions you making progress towards said goal. If you do not have some sort of transcendent ideal about what you want your life to be in the present and future, then depression can manifest itself through meaninglessness. So here’s what you should ask yourself:

  • What do I want for my character?
  • What do I want for my relationships?
  • What do I want for my education?
  • What do I want for my household?
  • What do I want for my future?

You will find that once you visualise a foundational exemplar for each of these fields and start to work towards them, you will start to feel happier, you will feel like you are more complete and your optimism and motivation will start to return. It doesn’t have to be big things either, even small things like cleaning your room, or a room you often use in the house, and keeping it tidy, can be a big step in the right direction.

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increase the burden. It is easier to say, “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken”

Young Minds Website 2019


  • Work out what makes you happy. Try making a list of activities, people and places that make you happy or feel good. Then make a list of what you do every day. It probably won’t be possible to include all the things that make you happy but try to find ways to bring those things into your daily routine.
  • Treat yourself. When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to feel good about yourself. Try to do at least one positive thing for yourself every day. This could be taking the time for a long bath, spending time with a pet or reading your favourite book. See our relaxation tips for some ideas of things to do.
  • Be kind to yourself. None of us achieve all our goals. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do something you planned to, or find yourself feeling worse again. Try to treat yourself as you would treat a friend, and be kind to yourself.

“Be kind to yourself. If you need ‘me time’, give it to yourself. You are worth it.”

Depression Self-Help Article


• Let them know you care and are there to listen. Companionship is key when heling anybody who is suffering from anything. Talking, even, can do a great deal to help.

• Accept them as they are, without judging them. The last thing they need is the fear of social alienation, that fear of isolation, and isolation manifesting in itself, will do no good for anyone, especially not those suffering from Depression.

• Gently encourage them to help themselves – for example, by staying physically active, eating a balanced diet and doing things they enjoy. You should encourage them to treat themselves like someone they are responsible for helping.

• Get information about the services available to them, such as psychological therapy services or depression support groups in their area.

• Stay in touch with them by messaging, texting, phoning or meeting for coffee. People who are depressed can become isolated and may find it difficult to leave their home.

• Try to be patient. They can often feel as though they are very alone, and therefore although they may be initially difficult to connect with, they still really need that connection.

• Take care of yourself. It’s important not to lose sight of your own mental health too.