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Low Mood and Depression

Difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression.

It could be a lack of success in securing pupillage, stress and problems with your pupillage, or relationship problems, bereavement, sleep problems, chronic illness or pain. Sometimes it's possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason.

Talk to someone

There are a range of organisations which can help with specific issues. Click here for some advice on seeking help and for a list of organisations and their contact details. Support

Low mood

A general low mood can include:

But a low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks.

Making some small changes in your life, such as resolving a difficult situation, talking about your problems or getting more sleep, can usually improve your mood.

Depression

A low mood that doesn’t go away can be a sign of depression.

Symptoms of depression can include the following:

  • low mood lasting two weeks or more
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling hopeless
  • feeling tired or lacking energy
  • not being able to concentrate on everyday things like reading the paper or watching television
  • comfort eating or losing your appetite
  • sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself

Depression can also come on at specific points in your life, such as the winter months (seasonal affective disorder, or SAD) and after the birth of a child (postnatal depression).

When to get help for low mood or depression:

If you’re still feeling down after a couple of weeks, talk to your GP. Your GP can discuss your symptoms with you and make a diagnosis.

What types of help are available?

If you’re diagnosed with depression, your GP will discuss available treatment options with you, including self-help, talking therapies and antidepressants.

1. Self-help. Whether you have depression or just find yourself feeling down for a while, it could be worth trying some self-help techniques.

2. Talking therapies. There are lots of different types of talking therapies available. To help you decide which one would most suit you, talk to your GP or read about the different types of talking therapies.

 

3. Antidepressants. Antidepressants are commonly used to treat depression. There are several types available. If your GP prescribes you antidepressants, they will discuss the different types and which one would suit you best.

See the Wellbeing at the Bar resources on getting psychological support.

When to seek help immediately: If you start to feel like your life isn’t worth living or you want to harm yourself, get help straight away. Either see your GP or call NHS 111.

You can also call Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support.

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The information and resource packs above are designed to help you during a very specific period in your training to become a barrister. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing amongst those in a similar position to yourself please get in touch.


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Training to become a barrister is pressured and demanding. Intensive competition for limited pupillages (and when in pupillage for tenancy or employment) can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage those stressors, make emotionally informed, wise decisions and hopefully thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

2 in 3 barristers feel that showing signs of stress equals weakness