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If you find that you have a really low mood and are sad for a few weeks in a row and experience:

  • little or no energy

  • limited motivation

  • you no longer enjoy doing activities that you did previously

it could be that you are experiencing depression.

Dep

ressi

on

Despite what many people believe, depression is not just something that you can get over by simply thinking positive, or by ‘getting over it’. Depression is not only a lot more intense than simply feeling temporarily down, there are different types of depression, ranging from major depression through to melancholia and antenatal or postnatal depression. What causes depression in people can vary greatly. Causes of depression in an individual could be:

  • a family history of depression

  • a personal predisposition to depression

  • the occurrence of a major or traumatic life event

  • the effect of drugs or alcohol

There are a range of different treatments for depression and each person requires a personal treatment plan to help them work through depression. Remember, mental health issues affect everyone differently, the above is a very basic guideline of what to look out for. If you think that you have depression, or you know someone that may have it, please see your GP, a counsellor (you can make an appointment to see me), contact Lifeline (via phone 131114, chat, or sms 0477131114) or Beyondblue.

Some strategies to look after yourself if you concerned about depression are:

  1. Talk to a doctor - Talk to your doctor about what you are feeling and going through. Your doctor can support you by providing you with information about mental health professionals to seek greater support from

  2. Talk to someone you can rely on - Reaching out to someone that you can rely on is a really important aspect of looking after yourself. Loneliness can be a major cause of depression, therefore reaching out to a friend or someone else can really help.

  3. Look after your health - Eating good, wholesome foods, drinking lots of water and getting a good night’s sleep and exercise all help to reduce depression.

  4. Notice your feelings - It is important to be aware of your feelings and if you are becoming more low in your mood than usual. Activities such as journalling can assist you in expressing yourself and understanding your feelings.

  5. Be safe - When people are depressed they can have thoughts of either harming themselves or ending their lives. If you are struggling with these sorts of thoughts, there is a red emergency button at the top of this page. Alternatively, call 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.