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Understanding Depression

There are lots of symptoms of depression.
Take a look at some of the common symptoms:

Low Mood

Feeling low, sad, dull or empty.

Less Pleasure

Not enjoying things as much.

Less Energy

Feeling fatigued or tired.

Sleep Problems

Sleeping too much or not enough.

Low Self Esteem

Thinking badly of yourself, thinking that you're a failure.

Poor Concentration

Not being able to pay attention to things like TV or books.


Thinking you're to blame, or thinking you've let people down.

Unhealthy Eating

Not eating enough, binge eating or eating too much.

Slowing down / speeding up

Moving or speaking slowly or being fidgety or restless.

Physical Changes

Including constipation, diarrhoea, weight loss, headaches, dizziness and palpitations.

Suicide & Self-harm

Thinking about killing or hurting yourself.

Get urgent help here



Lots of things can cause depression, but sometimes people get it without any clear reason.

Bad things happen to lots of people, so why doesn't everyone get depression?

It's not what happens to you, but how you respond to it.

Watch the video to find out more (don't worry, there's no sound):

You can break the Vicious Cycle by changing what you do and how you think, but first you need to understand your own Vicious Cycle.

Drawing your
Vicious Cycle

Draw your Vicious Cycle and try to identify the connections between the things you do, what you think and how you feel. Remember that 'feel' includes physical changes like constipation. You can download a blank template from the Worksheets area. Take a look at our example Vicious Cycle below for some inspiration:


Today's Summary

Remember these three things

  1. THE WAY YOU THINK CHANGES HOW YOU FEEL - The way you feel depends on your thoughts.
  2. WHAT YOU DO CHANGES HOW YOU THINK - If you stop doing nice things, you will start thinking negative thoughts. 
  3. THE VICIOUS CYCLE IS THE KEY TO BEATING DEPRESSION - When you change the way you think, or what you do, you break the Vicious Cycle and recover from depression.

Lesson Complete!
Here's your homework:

Just remember to come back tomorrow - write it down somewhere or set a reminder on your phone!