The Black Dog, it follows you around. Depression can happen to anyone. In fact one in 20 Australians are affected by depression each year. Understanding the signs and symptoms of depression, how they appear in different people, and where to go to get help are important.
Depression is a medical condition. It comes under the mental health category which creates a lot of stigma and is at times the reason why many don’t seek help. It causes periods of low moods that linger and make you feel very sad and withdrawn. Depression interferes with our everyday lives and often makes it very hard to cope or function in your normal capacity.
Depression is often described by people as a really dark place that they find it hard to come back from. For others it is a feeling of numbness (Black Dog Institute). Regardless of how depression presents for you it is important to get help to manage it. There are many ways to treat depression and get you on track to feeling better.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of depression can be physical or emotional. If you recognise any signs or symptoms in yourself or someone you know, it is important to remember that with help you can feel better.
Having one or two of these symptoms may not necessarily indicate depression, but it’s a good idea to check with your GP.
You might be feeling:
- sad, teary, anxious or irritable
- hopeless and bad about yourself
- alone and isolated
You may be thinking:
- ‘my problems are too difficult to solve’
- ‘life is too hard’
- ‘everything’s going to go wrong’
- ‘I’m no good’
- ‘it’s all my fault’.
Perhaps you’re having changes in:
- ability to find enjoyment and pleasure in things
- quality of sleep (sleeping a lot, waking up a lot, or insomnia)
- appetite or weight
- interest in sex
- concentration and remembering things
- drinking or use of drugs.
If you’ve been feeling these signs and symptoms for more than two weeks, make sure you get some help from a health professional such as your GP.
There are several different types of depression. Some can go away by themselves but others need treatment.
There are many effective ways to help depression, such as exercise, counselling, and medication.
Remember, you can feel better.
Follow this link to complete an online self-assessment:
Help is available
If your life is in danger call emergency services:
- Emergency Australia – 000
You are not alone. There is always someone to hear your pain and problems, and to help you keep safe.
If you need support call one of the following numbers
- Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
- Lifeline New Zealand – 0800 543 354
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
- MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78
- Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
- Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service – 1800 011 046
You can also:
- talk to someone you trust
- contact your GP, a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist
- visit a hospital emergency department.
Contact me on 0433 650 347 to chat, alternatively you can SMS if you feel more comfortable.