Feeling like life is not worth living is more than feeling sorry for yourself. It's not a crime to be depressed.

If life doesn't seem worth living, it may be because you are ill and don't realise it's something physical affecting your mind, or that your circumstances are so rough right now you can't see an end to a situation you can't stand any longer and you have every right to be more than fed up. You might also be clinically depressed and need treatment.

Take a general health check and see your doctor, or if it's the rough stuff you're going through, talk to someone, get some help and advice on how to change things so you can start to feel more positive about life. Being stressed and anxious is bad for your mental health and leads to a form of depression.

But if you are clinically depressed it is more than just being extra fed up and you may need medical help to beat it including treatment with anti-depressants and talking therapy. It may have nothing to do with the realities of your life and is how you can't help feeling. See your doctor as soon as possible. Is there something wrong with me? tries to help you decide whether you have a mental, physical or emotional problem and to reassure you that admitting a mental health problem, like clinical depression, is NOT a one-way ticket to a secure ward in a hospital!

What is depression?

Depression is one of the most common but misunderstood conditions. It is thought that one in four people will suffer from depression at some point in their lifetime. Depression can affect how you feel physically, as well as emotionally. There are plenty of things that might make you worry and it's normal to feel stressed, anxious or lonely from time to time - or that no one understands you. Usually these feelings come and go. For some people, feeling down or depressed can go on for a long time and make it difficult to get on with their everyday lives.

Sometimes "down times" in our lives are triggered by things that happen to us like the death of a relative, friend or pet; worrying about how you look, arguments with friends or family, being bullied, worrying about your sexuality, exams...the list goes on.

Read Indy's story about how she was helped to beat depression.

If your state of mind is so bad that you think you might try to commit suicide now or very soon, talking isn't going to help, and you can't see a doctor soon enough, go immediately to A&E where they will assess your state of mind and get you to safety. 

If you are with someone else who feels suicidal, take the same steps to try to get them to safety as soon as possible.             

Get help from papyrus-uk.org whose concern is the prevention of young suicides and offer support for you, or for a friend feeling suicidal.  They have a helpline and can also be contacted  by Hopeline UK on freephone 0800 068 41 41 Mon–Fri 10am–5pm and 7pm–10pm, and 2pm–5pm weekends, also by text and email.

If you can't immediately tell someone you trust or see your doctor who will help you get the support you need, there are 24 hour helplines where you can talk to: ChildLine: 0800 11 11 or The Samaritans: 116 123. You can also call Centre 33 on 01223 316488  

Could you be depressed?

Take the NHS test and find out.

If your life is full of rough stuff and you just can't cope, there are many ways to help you get over it, including through your doctor. If  practical stuff like where you live, study or work, lack of money, or being bullied is getting you down, get in touch with Connexions, Citizens'Advice or Centre 33 for advice on how to tackle these and many other problems. GTRT has topic pages for many different circumstances which can be making your life rough, where you can find out more and get help.

Bereavement is not just what it feels like when someone close to you dies. If you feel bereaved you may also feel depressed because you have lost something or someone, or there is something missing which would make life worthwhile.  No-one can make it up to you - but you can get help to learn to cope without or to find something or someone else. Lots of people go through this all the time and sometimes you can help just be being there for each another.

Read Tyger's story about how he coped with depression after his father died.

No-one has the right to tell you that you are not entitled to your feelings. Try to understand what is making you feel so bad and whether there is any way you can help yourself, and if not, get professional help.

Never think that you have deserved to feel this bad or that you have to be like this for ever.

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The page was last updated on 26 April 2016 by andrea.bateman.

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