A general low mood can include:
- Feeling anxious or panicky
- Low self-esteem
However, a low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks. Making some slight changes in your life, such as resolving a difficult situation, talking about your problems or getting more sleep, can usually improve your mood.
A low mood that doesn’t go away can be a sign of depression. Symptoms of depression can include the following:
- Low mood lasting two weeks or more
- Not getting any enjoyment out of life
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling tired or lacking energy
- Not being able to concentrate on everyday things like reading the paper or watching television
- Comfort eating or losing your appetite
- Sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep
- Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself
Read more about the symptoms of depression.
If you are diagnosed with depression, your GP will discuss all of the available treatment options with you, including self-help, talking therapies and antidepressants.
Whether you have depression or just find yourself feeling down for a while, it could be worth trying some self-help techniques.
Life changes, such as getting a regular good night’s sleep, keeping to a healthy diet, reducing your alcohol intake and getting regular exercise, can help you feel more in control and more able to cope.
Self-help techniques can include activities such as meditation, breathing exercises and learning ways to think about problems differently. Tools such as self-help books and online counselling can be very effective.
If your GP has prescribed antidepressants, it’s important that you carry on taking them.
Read more about self-help therapies.
When to seek help immediately
If you start to feel like your life isn’t worth living, or that you want to harm yourself, get help straight away.
Either see your GP or call NHS 111. You can also call Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support.