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A private London clinic integrating psychiatry and psychology

Feeling Low

What is low mood?

Everyone has experienced low mood in their lives, whether for a very short or a more sustained period of time. Feeling low is a normal human emotion and can occur as a result of a number of factors. It can also be is a symptom of many health issues, both physical and mental. Low mood itself is to be expected at some points in one’s life as a typical response to an upsetting event, for example. It is only when low mood is persistent or feels like the most common emotion felt by an individual that there may be an issue. The difficulty in identifying the root cause of an individual’s low mood often makes its treatment more challenging.

Common symptoms of low mood:

  • Feeling sad or tearful
  • Feeling bad about yourself
  • Feelings of “emptiness”
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things (including those you once enjoyed)
  • Retreating from others/ isolating yourself
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite (either more or less)
  • Feeling agitated or irritated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed speech or movement

Common causes of low mood:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Relationship issues
  • Burnout (often low mood is a precursor to Burnout)
  • Bereavement
  • Upsetting event occurrence
  • Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality
  • Low self-esteem
  • Chronic illness or pain

It is also quite possible to experience low mood with no obvious cause which can often come with feelings of distress as to why and how long a person will be feeling the way they do. It is important to remember that help is always available to help either identify the root cause of your low mood or help you find strategies to cope and overcome it.

How can low mood be treated?

CBT and its variations have historically been the most commonly used therapy to overcome feeling low or low mood and are the first-line treatment in the NHS. They aim to combat negative feelings about yourself, the world and the future and to enable someone experiencing low mood to regain hope that this will not be the case forever. Through this cognitive retraining, one can alter their negative mindsets that maintain these feelings and create a more positive mindset and hopefully improving one’s mood.

CBT is just one form of intervention for low mood. In recent years, there are increasing amounts of evidence that other highly effective approaches can be used to tackle issues with feeling low. It is also the case that not everyone necessarily responds favourably to CBT. Adopting a variety of approaches, as reflected in our experienced team, can be invaluable in being able to help as many people experiencing low mood as possible. Above all, evidence continues to suggest that the most consistent factor in recovery is the relationship with the therapy relationship, irrespective of the mode. More information on each clinician who is able to help in treating low mood can be found at the bottom of this page.


We have an expert team of Consultant Psychiatrists, and both Counselling and Clinical Psychologists who are well versed in helping manage challenges regarding feeling low.

DrOmara Naseem

DrGabrielle Samson

DrRoger Howells

DrRuth Cairns

DrRobert Harland

DrIlaria Bonoldi

DrSoumitra Burman-Roy

DrAlessia Spennati

DrIsabel McMullen

ProfessorEleni Palazidou

DrAnastasios Argyropoulos

MsJessica Roberts

DrDaniel Meek

Contact and Appointments

If you are seeking an appointment with a psychiatrist, you should discuss this first with your GP to obtain a referral. Referrals are also accepted from clinical psychologists and counsellors.

Once you have your referral, please do contact us via our Enquiry Form and one of our team will be in touch without delay.

Overseas referrals are warmly welcomed. We do also see individuals without a family doctor (GP), and we can help you find a private or NHS family doctor.