Understanding depression

We all feel unhappy from time to time.  Clinical depression tends to be more severe than simple unhappiness, and it lasts longer.

Depression information leaflet.

The signs

People with depression can feel hopelessly sad.  Sometimes it is even possible to be depressed without having the usual “miserable” feelings.  There are lots of different signs, most depressed people only suffer from a few of these feelings.

  • Persistent sadness, lasting two weeks or more;
  • Loss of interest in your favour things;
  • Finding no fun or enjoyment in life;
  • Loss of self confidence;
  • Feeling guilty, bad, unlikeable, or not good enough;
  • Feeling empty inside;
  • Feeling useless or unable to cope with life;
  • Feeling bored all the time;
  • Increased feelings of anxiety;
  • Can’t see a future for yourself;
  • Thinking everything is pointless;
  • Thinking life is not worth living;
  • Especially low mood in the mornings;
  • Feeling more irritable, frustrated, or aggressive than usual;
  • Trouble concentrating on things, poor memory.


Depression can be caused by factors like bereavement, events in childhood, stress and relationship difficulties,  or problems linked to hormone imbalance, changes in brain chemistry or blood sugar levels.  Recreational drug use and binge drinking are also common triggers.

Other signs

  • Loss of energy, tired all the time;
  • Changes in sleep pattern;
  • Spending less time socialising with friends or family;
  • Loss of sexual desire;
  • Changed eating pattern;
  • Getting lower grades than usual;
  • Worrying about illness;
  • Turning to alcohol or drugs to try to make yourself feel better.


Depression is a treatable condition.  Many people make a full recovery without treatment.  If you are feeling depressed,  the best thing to do is contact your GP. There are a number of treatments available, ranging from antidepressant drugs, counselling, relaxation techniques, and other therapies.

Useful Links and  Contacts:

University Counsellor

The University offers a counselling service, an appointment can be booked via SSG, telephone 01244 511550/Warrington Campus 01925 534282.  The counsellor is independent of the University and anything discussed will be held in the strictest confidence.


This is a sympathetic, round-the-clock ear for anyone who needs to talk.  Telephone 08457 909090

Depression Alliance

Find out about local support groups in your area, telephone 0845 123 2320 or email  For more information visit

Counselling Directory link.