Won't my depression just go away?
Sometimes a mild depression may get better after six months. However depression is a serious illness, and just like any other illness, it is important to get the right kind of help in order to increase you chances of getting better as soon as possible.

If you don't do anything about your depression:

- the depression could get worse
- you might try things such as alcohol or drugs that could actually make the problem worse
- the risk of self-harm and suicide increases

So what can you do?

Talk To Someone

Your problems might seem difficult to talk about, but it is very important to talk to someone you trust. Depression is too serious and too treatable an illness to keep to yourself.

Who can you talk to?

Doctor - Your GP will be able to listen and put you in contact with someone who could help. They might also prescribe medication (Anti-depressants) which could help your mood improve, but these are not necessarily the first course of action for under 18s.
CAMHS - Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services is a special service where you can talk to someone who has lots of experience of helping young people understand their moods and feelings. Your doctor can make an appointment for you
A counsellor - many schools and colleges have counsellors who you can talk to about anything that is on your mind.
Teacher - a teacher could be a good source of help and support
Your family - parents, carers, brothers or sisters, for example
Friends - who are helpful and supportive, not those who make you feel worse.

You might be thinking 'what's the point in talking to someone? It won't change anything!' But talking to someone you trust could mark the beginning of your mood improving:

- It might help you understand how you are really feeling
- You might be able to get some things out of your system
- It's good to know someone who cares about you knows what is going on
- You can get good advice and help to do the things you feel are too difficult to do by yourself.

So it's worth persevering. You deserve it!

Self Help

Just as we all have physical health, we all have mental health and it is important not to take it for granted. Here are some things you can do for yourself that can help your mood improve and help you to feel better.

- Be aware of your thoughts: negative thoughts lower your mood, positive ones lift it
- Accept who you are: you are unique and everyone has their strengths
- Exercise: exercise and the fresh air can help improve your mood
- Good food, good mood: the food we eat can affect the way we feel
- Keep in touch with friends
- Get involved: maybe there is a new club or activity you could join?
- Care for others: helping others can be very rewarding
- Time to relax: you need time for yourself, at least 20 minutes a day!
- Do something you're good at and enjoy: it's bound to make you feel better
- Spoil youself! Treat yourself in the way you might treat a best frend

If you are feeling depressed, it can be really hard to do any of these. That's why talking to a friend and getting their support can make a big difference. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be put off asking for help. We might be afraid of what others might say or think of us. Remember that depression is an illness and it is unlikely it will just go away by itself. But if you let other people help you, it could be the beginning of an exciting new stage in your life.
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