Health Mental Health and Wellbeing What are the signs of depression? It's not uncommon for gay and bisexual men to experience depression. In fact we are up to four times more likely to have a mental health issue than straight people. However, most who experience depression do not know it. If you are experiencing any of the following it might be a sign that it could be depression. Persistent sadness, lasting two weeks or more. Loss of interest in your favourite things. Finding no fun or enjoyment in life. Loss of self-confidence. Feeling guilty, bad, unlikeable, or not good enough. Feeling empty inside. Feeling useless or unable to cope with life. Feeling bored all the time. Increased feelings of anxiety. Inability to see a future for yourself. Thinking everything is pointless. Thinking life is not worth living. Thoughts of death or suicide. Wanting to go to sleep and never wake up again. Especially low mood in the mornings. Feeling more irritable, frustrated, or aggressive than usual. Trouble concentrating on things, poor memory. Other signs may include: Loss of energy, feeling tired all the time. Changed sleep pattern – difficulty getting to sleep, bad nightmares, waking in the night, waking up too early, or sleeping much more than usual. Spending less time socialising with friends or family. Loss of sexual desire. Changed eating pattern – loss of appetite, weight loss or comfort eating. Getting lower grades than usual at school, college, or university. Not going to school/college/work, or becoming disruptive. Becoming a hypochondriac, worrying lots about illness. More headaches, backaches or stomach aches than you normally get. Turning to alcohol or drugs to try to make yourself feel better. If you recognise some of these symptoms, or if you’re having feelings you can’t cope with, the best thing to do is contact your GP. If you’re worried about this, you could take a friend or family member with you for support. If you just need someone to talk to, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 or LGBT Switchboard on 0300 330 0630. SUPPORT: For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/depression.