It’s a habit: someone asks how we are, and we say ‘fine thanks, and you?’
But what about when you’re not fine?
Feeling down from time to time is normal, but if you feel sad for weeks, months or longer, this could be something more serious. Depression is surprisingly common, with about a fifth of us experiencing it at some point. It makes us feel isolated, empty and helpless, and these symptoms make it hard for us to open up and talk about it.
If you’ve noticed someone around you acting differently lately, it’s time to talk. Maybe they seem withdrawn and tired, or perhaps they’re not interested in the things they used to enjoy. You could have noticed they’re drinking more than normal or having a hard time at work. Or you could be feeling like this yourself.
But if you or someone you know is affected by depression, you’re not alone – and there’s always something you can do. It takes guts to say you’re having a hard time. But having support from people around you helps, and opening up about mental health can break down the stigma surrounding something that affects lots of us.
You don’t need to be an expert to have a conversation about mental health – just taking the time to listen and talk can make a big difference.
The Bank Workers Charity exists to support the health and wellbeing of current and former bank workers and their families. You can find out more about looking after your mental health in our guide to depression.