Low mood and depression

    Fast facts

    1. 1
      Low mood and depression share some of the same signs and symptoms
    2. 2
      Low mood and depression can have an impact on your epilepsy
    3. 3
      Epilepsy can affect your mood
    4. 4
      Everybody feels down from time to time and this is normal
    5. 5
      Low mood can be when you feel sad, worried, tired, frustrated, angry, anxious or panicky
    6. 6
      Depression is a low mood that doesn’t go away after a few weeks

    Small changes you can make in your life can improve your mood, for example solving a difficult problem, talking to someone about what’s on your mind or getting more sleep  Usually, low mood will tend to lift within a few days or weeks. If it lasts longer than that, and is affecting your day-to-day life, you might be depressed.

    Around 1 in every 6 people in the UK will have depression. For people with epilepsy this is around 1 in 3. Depression is a low mood that doesn’t go away after a few weeks.

    Woman walking in the street

    Signs of depression

    Depression affects people in different ways but you might:

    Depression and thoughts of suicide can be side-effects of some epilepsy medicines. Side-effects can be worse if you are given a high a dose, or the dose is increased too quickly.  If you start having new symptoms after taking your epilepsy medicines, speak to your GP or epilepsy or epilepsy healthcare team.

    Self-help for depression


    To avoid feeling isolated, stay connected to the people you care about


    Try to talk to people you trust about how you feel


    Try to have a good sleep routine


    Eat a balanced diet


    Try not to drink too much alcohol


    Try to be as active as you can


    • Depression

      A short video about depression, self-help and how it’s treated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists

    • I had a black dog, his name was depression

      A short animation by the World Health Organisation

    Treating depression

    Feeling depressed can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to ask for help. For some people, a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medicine is the most effective way of treating depression. if you think you might be depressed go and see your GP. You can take someone with you and it could be a step towards feeling better.

    St John’s Wort, a herbal remedy for depression, can interact with some epilepsy medicines, so people with epilepsy shouldn’t use it without medical advice.

    Information on how to access talking therapies is on the  Mental wellbeing page.

    Do something

    Do you recognise any of the signs of depression in yourself? If so, would any of the self-help tips help you?

    Young woman talking to a counsellor

    More info

    About young people and depression on the Royal College of Psychiatrists website


    The Young Minds website has information on depression

    Young Minds
    Updated 12 May 2020
    Review 12 May 2023
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