We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.

Our mental health fluctuates on a daily basis on a spectrum between good and poor mental health. It’s perfectly normal to feel down at times and happy on other occasions, but if you, or someone you know, feel stuck in the lower end of the mental health spectrum for a prolonged period of time, then you could be experiencing poor mental health or a mental health problem.

While feeling depressed from time to time isn’t considered a mental health problem, if you are stuck in a constant state of low mood for two or more weeks, you might be diagnosed with depression. So how can you identify the signs of depression?

First and foremost it’s crucial to remember that only mental health professionals can diagnose a mental health problem and, when addressing such sensitive topic, it’s always useful to keep in mind the importance of not making assumptions and that everyone is different. The following should therefore be used as a guide only.

Common signs of depression are:

• Little interest or pleasure in doing things
• Feeling down, depressed or hopeless
• Complaining about sleeping pattern, looking tired
• Having little energy
• A change in eating behaviour, not eating at lunch or eating more than usual
• Feeling like one is failing or letting others down
• Trouble concentrating on tasks one is usually OK with
• Being more fidgety than usual or moving more slowly than usual
• Suicidal or self-harm thoughts and comments


Author: Sarah Speziali, Chief Therapist at InsideOut