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What is Depression?

Depression could affect any of us at any time, with one in five people in the UK reporting feeling depressed or anxious*, so, if you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to manage the symptoms of depression and make a full recovery.

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up. Most of us will, at some point in our lives, experience low mood or feeling down, which can last a few days or even stretch into a couple of weeks. However, when we’re depressed, our low mood and other related mental and physical symptoms will carry on persistently for weeks and weeks, months or even years with no let up. If we experience episodes of depression, our whole life and relationships can be affected, and everyday tasks that were once easy can become overwhelming.

How we think can even affect the way we feel and our emotions. Our thoughts can have a knock-on impact on how we react or behave. We can develop a negative stance on life, which makes us prone to being emotionally overloaded, and this can lead to low mood, anxiety and depression.


Depression can cause a wide range of possible symptoms, both mental and physical. While there are no set symptoms of depression – each person’s experience of the condition is different – but here are some possible signs:

  • Feeling constantly unhappy or hopeless
  • Feeling lonely and disconnected from others
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies
  • Being very tearful
  • Feeling continuously anxious
  • Constantly tired / exhausted
  • Sleeping badly / insomnia
  • Having no appetite
  • Experiencing physical aches and pains
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Loss of motivation
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Suicidal thoughts

Treatment and support

There are various treatments and support that you can access to help manage depression. Lifestyle changes can also play a key role in managing or recovering from depression. Making positive lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, improving sleep, cutting down on alcohol and eating healthily can all have a significant impact on your mental health. Some people may benefit from talking therapies, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or counselling and for some, prescribed medication.

New: We can now offer you free access to SilverCloud, a digital platform to help people better manage their mental health and wellbeing. The SilverCloud programmes use an evidence based, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach which focuses on the relationship between our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

A number of different programmes are available on the platform, including on topics such as stress, anxiety and depression, as well as supporting issues such as money worries, sleep and resilience. Each programme features a range of interactive tools like videos, activities, quizzes, audio guides and a personal online journal for you to use.

SilverCloud is free for anyone who works, or has worked, in the automotive industry. Sign up and get started today at, using the access code: ben.

It’s about finding out what is best for you but the important thing is to remember that you’re not alone and support is available.  If your depression is severe and you are having suicidal thoughts, please call Samaritans on 116 123 or the NHS on 111 immediately.

*ONS, National Well-being Measures, September 2018 

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