Depression

If you are depressed, you may feel that nothing can help.

But this is untrue. Most people recover from bouts of depression, and some even look back on it as a useful experience, which forced them to take stock of their lives and make changes in their lifestyle.

We often use the expression ‘I feel depressed’ when we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life, but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile.  At its most severe, major depression (clinical depression) can be life-threatening, because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.

Depression varies very much from person to person and can happen for one or more reasons (loss, childhood experiences, anger, life events etc).  Occasionally it may appear for no obvious reason. 

An important thing to accept is that there are usually no instant solutions to problems in life. Solving problems involves time, energy and work.  When you are feeling depressed, you may not be feeling energetic or motivated to work. But if you are able to take an active part in your treatment it should help your situation. 

The Scottish Government has set a target that nobody should wait longer than eighteen weeks between being referred for a talking treatment and starting that treatment. A talking treatment should be available to you via your GP. The choice will depend on what’s available locally, your own preferences and how severe your depression is, among other factors.   

Supporting a friend or relative who is depressed can be an opportunity to build a closer and more satisfying relationship. However, it can also be hard work and frustrating at times.  Unless you pay attention to your own needs, it can make you feel depressed too. 

Understanding Depression

​This booklet explains the symptoms of depression and details the treatments available.

Nick’s story

Diagnosed with depression alongside his cancer journey, Nick has been through a lot.


Read Nick's Story

Nick's Story

5 ways to improve your mental health

Evidence suggests there are five ways to improve our mental wellbeing: be active, connect, learn, give and take notice.

5 ways to better well-being