Do I Have Depression?

We all feel low from time to time, but sometimes feeling low lasts much longer and starts to impact your life. There are many routes to depression, and no-one is exempt. It can creep up on us over time or it can hit us hard after a significant life event, loss or change in circumstances.

If you want to improve your mood straight away, you can download The mood builder – learn to improve your mood today

What Does Depression Feel Like?

Depression is a lot like wearing glasses that are tinted with negativity. Everything you see feels bleak and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Often, people with depression fall into a cycle of negative thinking, doing less and feeling guilty. The lack of energy and motivation only creates more time for rumination and negative thinking patterns distorted by your low mood.

If you’re wondering ‘do I have depression?’, read through the list below and see if you can relate. If you haven’t felt like yourself for a while and are struggling to put your finger on what’s changed, you could ask someone close to you if they have noticed any of the following signs and symptoms.

Do I Have Depression? Signs & Symptoms to Look Out For

Psychological symptoms of depression include:

Persistent sadness and negativity

Tearful and generally emotional

Having no motivation or interest in things

Not getting any enjoyment out of life

Neglecting friends, family or hobbies

Wanting to hide away and disengage from people

Feeling hopeless and/or helpless

Feeling anxious or worried

Low self-esteem or feeling worthless

Seeing self, others, world and future in a negative light

Irritability and intolerance of others

An overwhelming sense of despair, suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself {if you are experiencing this, please seek help urgently and see your GP}.

Depression can also show up in your body. Physical symptoms for depression include:

Feeling slowed down

Change in appetite or weight


Unexplained aches and pains

Lack of energy or lack of interest in sex (loss of libido)

Disturbed sleep (for example, finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning)

Where to Get Help

If you are experiencing a few of these symptoms and have been for longer than a month, it’s important to see your GP for advice. The tricky thing with depression is that you experience a lot of negative thinking, so seeking help can feel pointless. But depression is very treatable. The evidence is that CBT and medication are the best interventions. Your GP can provide an assessment and give you an overview of the treatment options available. For private CBT, you can find fully accredited therapists in your area via BABCP.

With most illnesses, we wait until we feel better to get going again. This works well for other conditions, but with depression, it has a maintaining effect. You need to do the things that would normally lift your mood and allow the feelings to follow.

It’s like training your biceps. You have to lift the weights for a while before you see any impact. With the low energy and lack of motivation associated with depression, this can feel really tough. Start small, keep it simple and track your mood so you can see your hard work paying off.

Download my free Mood Builder for more ideas and a handy template to get you started.


Useful Links

NHS Self-Assessment Scale

Episode 31 | Do you Have Depression and What You Can Do

Am I Depressed?

How to Choose a CBT Therapist

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Sarah Rees

Sarah is a fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and mental health writer delivering Modern Mental Health for you and with you in Mind. Sarah is the author of ‘The CBT Journal’ which helps you write for your wellbeing incorporating CBT techniques. For more information and to keep in touch have a look at