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Depression is often called the common cold of the psychiatric world, nevertheless it is a very frightening condition.  There are many different strains and symptoms and they are not always easy to identify. It is a condition that will affect around one in 5 people at some point in their lives.  Often it is the strong who suffer the most.

Depression is not ‘sadness’ or ‘unhappiness’ and those suffering from depression may experience a wide spectrum of symptoms, emotional and physical, which just won’t shift. The sufferers may isolate themselves, be detached or feeling ‘in a bubble’ and sense a blackness or heaviness of their mood. Often they have a deep sense of not feeling okay. The longer it goes on the deeper the spiral becomes. Many find it difficult to pinpoint a specific cause of their depression.  However, this does not make their symptoms any less real. 

Living with depression or living with a depressed person is very hard and at times this can make seeking help even harder. People can fear stigma or labelling will occur It is very important for people suffering with depression to believe there are many people who are willing to help.  Although it feels awful, and the sufferer may feel frightened, with the right help symptoms will be greatly reduced and, in time, overcome.

Symptoms can or may include:

  • Frightening thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Insomnia, or excessive sleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Most of the above symptoms can be considered normal responses.  However, if you experience some of these symptoms for extended periods of time please contact your GP and consider discussing your symptoms with a trained counsellor.

Counselling can help address feelings of depression, feeling sad, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), postnatal depression and suicidal thoughts.  You can contact any of our counsellors, therapists, psychotherapists and psychologists directly, via The Practice phone number or online.  Servicing Surrey from our sites in Weybridge and East Molesey and online. Please see our Children and Family Therapy page for a list of our therapists who treat depression and anxiety in children.

More info

Useful Articles

Here's a list of articles on depression you might find helpful.

A Message to the Depressed  
An extremely powerful and moving YouTube video on how it feels to have depression and what you, as a friend of someone who is depressed, can do to support your friend. Highly recommend watching.

Can positivity cure depression? - Laura Clark
One of the worst misconceptions about depression and anxiety is that the sufferer ‘brings it on themselves’ and should simply ‘snap out of it’. The theory that we can in fact talk ourselves out of our depression is a very tricky concept as we don’t want to feed the stigma that mental illness is somehow our fault. But my own recovery teaches me that thinking positivity and learning to drag ourselves out of our illness are in fact really powerful tools that shouldn’t be overlooked.

My depression is a gift - Carly Schwartz
I’ve heard the only true cure for depression is a deep and profound sense of self love. In order to achieve that, you must train yourself to love every part of yourself, darkness and all. But how can you love something you’re so desperate to change? How can you use that love as a weapon to extinguish the very thing you are training yourself to love?

6 little things you can do to help someone with depression  
Suffering from depression can be lonely, scary and difficult to talk about. But, seeing someone you care about struggling is tough too. Often friends and family feel just as helpless, not knowing what to do or say.

Teenagers struck by depression epidemic
The number of middle-class teenage girls suffering from anxiety or depression has surged in the past decade with more than a third now experiencing symptoms of “psychological distress”.

Is your teen moody or depressed? 7 tips for parents 
Your teen is being really irritable. Is it a random bad mood — or something more?

Recommended Books

Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong (3rd Edition): Volume 3 (Overcoming Common Problems) - Dr. Tim Cantopher
This book has helped many thousands of those who have depression. This new edition, written by a leading consultant psychiatrist, explains that depression tests the strongest of us. Dr Cantopher guides the reader through the nature of depression, its history, symptoms, causes and treatments.

Philosophy for Life: And other dangerous situations
In his engaging book, Jules Evans explains how ancient philosophy saved his life, and how we can all use it to become happier, wiser and more resilient.

The Consolations of Philosophy
Alain de Botton, bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, has set six of the finest minds in the history of philosophy to work on the problems of everyday life.

Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure
Robert de Board's engaging account of Toad's experience of counselling will capture the imagination of the growing readership of people who are interested in counselling and the counselling process. 

This poem has often been described as the "North Star" by which you should lead your life.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what pace there may be
in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull
and the ignorant, they too have their story.  Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are 
vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself to others, you many become vain and bitter; for always
There will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.  Keep interested in your own
career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.  But
let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love; for
the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take 
kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress
yourself with dark imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the
universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And
whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever
your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all it’s sham drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Charities and support groups

Charities and support groups

Below you will find a comprehensive list of charities and support groups that offer help and assistance to anyone who is struggling with this mental health issue


Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.

0800 1111 Childline for Children (24 hour)
0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24 hour)

Have I got a Problem?

HaveiGotAproblem.com is a free online resource to help you understand issues or concerns you may have about mental health or addiction issues.

This site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.




Young Minds

Charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

Parents Helpline 0808 802 5544 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm

Support Line

SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse. SupportLine is a member of the Helplines Association. SupportLine also provides support by email and post.

Helpline: 01708 765 200

Student Minds

Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity. We believe that peer support can change the state of student mental health. Our vision is for students to take action to foster an environment where everyone has the confidence to talk and listen to each other, the skills to support one another and the knowledge to look after their own mental health.

Helpline: 08444 775 774 Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5.30pm (calls subject to charge)


The Samaritans provide 24 hour, confidential, emotional support for anyone in crisis.

Helpline 116 123, this number is FREE to call
Email jo@samaritans.org

Elefriends (run by Mind)

Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. 

We all know what it's like to struggle sometimes, and this is a safe place to listen, share and be heard. Whether you're feeling good right now, or really low, it's a safe place to share experiences and listen to others. 

Shared experiences and perspectives are valuable and powerful. In this way Elefriends don't just get help, they give help too. In the good times and the bad.


Off The Record

We believe that young people need places to go which are easy to access, where you are treated with respect, and where you can get support and information to help you make your own life choices. Our services are friendly and welcoming – about 1,000 new young people visit us every year. Available in the Richmond borough.


Depression Alliance

At Depression Alliance we bring people together to end the loneliness and isolation of depression. We also campaign to end the stigma of depression and to raise awareness of what it means to live with it.


Anxiety UK

Provides support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Helpline: 08444 775 774 (Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm)

Papyrus UK

Suicide prevention for young people up to the age of 35

Helpline: 0800 068 41 41
Monday - Friday 10am – 5pm & 7pm – 10pm, Weekends 2pm – 5pm 

Text: 07786 209697
Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org



Barnardo’s believes in children regardless of their circumstances, gender, race, disability or behaviour. Our purpose as a charity today is to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children. We believe in the abused, the most vulnerable, the forgotten and the neglected. We will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in each and every child.


Talking 2 Minds

Talking2Minds was established in 2008 with the sole purpose of helping those suffering from PTSD or other severe stress related conditions. Initially, we offered help exclusively to military sufferers. However, as word of our success spread, we found others coming to us from all sectors of society including the “blue light” services and those who had suffered trauma through abuse and horrific accidents.




The UK’s free and confidential helpline is not just for children, it provides help for young people of all ages who are in distress or danger.  Counsellors provide advice and support, by phone and online, 24 hours a day. 

You can get help and advice about a wide range of issues, including violence and abuse in your relationship on the Childline website.  You can also talk to a counsellor online, send an email or post on the message boards.

Whatever your worry, it’s better out than in.

ChildLine has launched an app called Zipit. It helps you get flirty chat back on the right track. It's packed with killer comebacks and top tips to help you stay in control of your chat game. Find out more: childline.org.uk/zipit

Helpline: 0800 1111

Mind - For Better Mental Health

We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.  We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.


Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.



SANE services provide practical help, emotional support and specialist information to individuals affected by mental health problems, their family, friends and carers.

Helpline 0845 767 8000

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army works closely with addiction referral services as well as providing specialist detox centres in the UK. This is complemented by rehabilitation and support programmes.


Get Connected

Get Connected is the UK's free, confidential helpline service for young people under 25 who need help, but don't know where to turn.

Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Open from 11am - 11pm every day

Counselling Directory

Counselling Directory aims to be the leading service for providing counselling advice and information - connecting those in distress with the largest support network in the UK.


Bipolar UK

Helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder


Anxiety Alliance

Anxiety Alliance is a charity dedicated to helping and supporting those suffering from anxiety, as well as families and friends of those suffering from anxiety.

Helpline: 0845 2967877 (10am-10pm)


Helping Households Under Great Stress (HHUGS) is the only UK registered charity, providing protection, empowerment and support to Muslim households harmfully affected by counter-terrorism and national security legislation in the UK and abroad.


Time to Change

Our aim is to start a conversation… or hopefully thousands of conversations.

We want to empower people with mental health problems to feel confident talking about the issue without facing discrimination. And we want the three quarters of the population who know someone with a mental health problem to talk about it too.



Rethink, the leading national mental health membership charity, works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness recover a better quality of life.

Helpline 0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 10am - 2pm

Family Lives

Offers support to anyone parenting or helping to raise children, from newborn babies to young adults. There are free telephone and email helplines, parenting courses and information leaflets. The website offers lots of advice, real-life stories and relevant news as well as a helpful A-Z of related topics.

Helpline: 0800 800 2222 (9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday;10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday)


The Mix

The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people. We are here to help you take on any challenge you’re facing - from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to us via online, social or our free, confidential helpline.

Freephone 0808 808 4994


The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy is the professional association for members of the counselling professions in the UK.


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