October 16


What does depression feel like?

By Stephen Boylan Dip Couns, PG Cert MHCBT, REG MBACP

October 16, 2019

What does depression feel like?

What does depression feel like? I struggled with depression for over 12 years and I’ve spent the past 10 years helping thousands of people to deal with depression, so I now have the answer to this question.

In this post in this post I’m going share with you what depression feels like, what maintains depression.

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I’m also going to share with you 1 of my best strategies that you can use to deal with depression.

Who can get depression?

There are a wealth of feelings and symptoms that you can experience when you are struggling with depression, such as:

  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things

  • Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much

  • Feeling tired or having little energy

  • Poor appetite or overeating

  • Feeling bad about yourself - or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down

  • Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television

  • Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed

  • Being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual

  • Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way

According to the National Institute For Health And Care Excellence (NICE), there are 3 severities of depression based on the above symptoms. The severities are mild, moderate and server.

I’ve created a free online depression test that you can use to see what severity of depression you are scoring.

Finally, you must seek professional help if your score is high on our online depression test. It’s best to speak with your doctor first. The longer depression is untreated the harder it can be to deal with it in the long term.

Who can get depression?

Mind state that 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental problem like depression or anxiety each week.

It clear that some people are more vulnerable to developing depression than others.

However, the good news is you can decrease your vulnerability to developing depression by:

Practicing positive thinking habits

Assertively expressing your needs, thoughts, and feelings

Managing your stress levels

What maintains depression?

Your thoughts and your behaviour directly impact on the way you feel both emotionally and physiologically. Therefore, these are key areas can maintain depression.

Firstly, let me explain how your thoughts can maintain depression. For example, if you are constantly thinking about negative things that have happened to you in the past, you’ll feel more down and depressed. This style of thinking is called rumination.

Now let me explain how your behaviour can maintain depression. For example, if you stop doing things that give you a sense of pleasure and achievement (like going to the gym) then you’ll start to feel more down and depressed.

How to deal with depression?

By now you’re probably thinking “how can I deal with depression?”. There are several things that you can do deal with depression, such as:

Understand your depression

Challenge your negative thoughts

Increase your activity levels

Use your support systems

Assert yourself

Firstly, it’s important to understand what present factors contribute to your depression and past factors led to your depression.

For example, if you have had a lot of losses in the past but you didn’t deal with them at the time then its a good idea to see a counsellor to help you to process these loses.

Getting good at challenging your negative thoughts is something that will help you to deal with depression.

Instead of believing the first thought that enters your mind try to think is there a more realistic way that I can think about this situation.

For example, you can use the ABC model, which was pioneered by Albert Ellis, see image below.

What Is Best Way To Deal With Depression?  

Increasing your activity levels is one of the best ways that you can deal with depression. For example, you can use our daily planner to plan activities into your day.

I recommend scheduling your activities into the planner the night before and your activities must increase your pleasure and achievement levels.

For example, you could plan to go to the gym 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm.

Word of warning, it’s better to gradually increase your activity levels each week so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Only plan set goals that you can achieve because if you don’t achieve them it can leave you feeling more depressed.

When you are feeling depressed it’s extremely important to use your support systems. For example, talking to a friend, relative or a counsellor about how feel can be like lifting a weight of your shoulders. It’s good to talk and it’s one of the best ways to deal with depression.

Finally, learning to be more assertive can massively increase your chances of dealing with depression. It’s a fact, if you’re constantly saying yes to everyone then you’re at risk of feeling more down and depressed.


To conclude, if you've been asking yourself "what does depression feel like?" you now have the answer.

It could be an indicator that you’re struggling with depression if you start to notice that you’re experiencing the feelings and symptoms that I’ve shared with you in this post.

You can use our free online depression test to monitor your symptoms but it’s important to seek help from a professional if you have an high score.

If you practice positive thinking, if you use your support networks, and if you get better at managing stressful situation you can reduce the risk of developing depression.

Both depression and anxiety are very common mental health problem and 1 in 6 people report experiencing them on a weekly basis so there nothing to be ashamed of if you experience them.

The way you think and what you do directly impacts on the way you feel both emotionally and physiologically.

Finally, remember it’s important to understand what factors started your depression and what factors are maintaining your depression.

Use the ABC model to challenge your negative thoughts and use our activity planner to schedule pleasurable activities into your week on a gradual weekly basis.

What's the most important thing you have learned from reading this post? Comment below and don't forget to share this post (sharing is caring).

Stephen Boylan Dip Couns, PG Cert MHCBT, REG MBACP

About the author

Dear Friend, Stephen Boylan here, I'm the founder of Natrul. My mission and passion is to help you to improve your mental health and well-being. I hope you have found this blog post helpful and if you have any questions please feel free to comment below. I look forward to helping you.

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