Depression: The warning signs, the statistics, and where to go for help

At the age of just 21, Barney Moore took his own life, leaving his family devastated.

ITV News has spoken to his father Dick, who is now campaigning to help other young people spot the danger signs and open up about mental health - saying he wants to make sure his son's death was not in vain.

He now works with charity the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust - and has shared some of his help and advice with ITV News presenter Mary Nightingale:

What is depression?

Precise definitions of depression vary, as symptoms vary from person to person.

In essence, it is a mood disorder often characterised by feelings of sadness or loss of enjoyment.

The National Clinical Practice Guideline described depression as "a loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things and experiences... low mood and a range of associated emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioural symptoms."

Depression UK warns it can strike anybody, it can develop quickly or over a long period of time, and can be brought on by life events and/or by changes in the body's own chemistry.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

According to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, warning signs can include the following:

  • Being/feeling tearful

  • Withdrawn from friends and/or family

  • No longer enjoying hobbies

  • Unable to concentrate

  • Sadness

  • Tired all the time

  • Poor communication

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless

  • Irritable

  • Lack of motivation

  • Anxious

  • Angry

  • Change in eating habits

  • Neglect of appearance and/or hygiene

They say if five or more of the above signs are evident either in yourself or someone you know, you ought to ask a series of questions:

  • Have these symptoms been present for two weeks or more?

  • Is the distress being experienced profound unhappiness, rather than moodiness and feeling a bit fed up?

  • Has this persistent low mood coincided with a drop off in standard of work, a struggle to meet deadlines, no longer enjoying previously loved hobbies or passtimes, or isolation from friendship group?

This, the charity says, will help determine whether the individual has been struggling to lead the life they want to lead for a prolonged period of time - and if the answers are yes, help should be sought urgently.

For useful contact numbers, see the bottom of this article.

What else do you need to know about depression?

  • One in five young people will suffer from depression at some stage of their lives, many before they reach 18

  • One in 10 young people are suffering from a diagnosable mental health disorder on any given day - and this increases to one in six during further education

  • At least 13% of 15/16 year olds have self-harmed, and there has been a 300% increase over the last decade

  • Three times more of these have been girls than boys

  • More than 4% of all young people will suffer from a stress or anxiety disorder

  • A similar number will experience a worrying relationship with food and/or exercise

  • 75% of all mental health disorders originate during adolescence

  • 50% present themselves by the age of 15

  • Many more women than men are diagnosed with depression

  • However, suicide is the biggest killer of young men aged 17 to 35 - totalling more than the number of deaths from AIDS, violent crime and road traffic accidents put together

  • In 2011, three times more women than men attempted to take their own life

  • In the same year,three times more men than women actually took their own life

Useful links

  • MIND: Call 0300 123 3393 or visit the website.

  • NHS: Visit the website for a range of contact options.

  • Samaritans: Call 116 123 or visit the website.

  • Depression UK: Visit the website.

  • Place2Be: Call 0207 923 5500 or visit the website.

  • YOUNGMINDS: Call 0808 802 5544 or visit the website.

  • Depression Alliance: Visit the website for a range of contact options.

  • Charlie Waller Memorial Trust: Visit the website or call 01635 869754.