We all experience feelings of sadness from time to time, but when these feelings seem to be settling in, it could be time to seek support.
In Australia, it's estimated that 45 percent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.1 Clinical Psychologist Susannah Kimmel discusses depression.
What is depression?
We may all feel sad, moody, or low from time to time. These feelings indicate that something isn’t working in our life and needs our attention.
When we fail to listen to these cues early enough or don’t take action to find a better balance, that low feeling can intensify into depression.
Depression can last for long periods of time (weeks, months, or even years) and can seriously affect your physical and mental health.
Causes of depression
Anyone can be affected by depression at any time. However, some personal factors such as family history or challenging life situations such as grief, relationship issues or isolation may increase your risk.
Signs and symptoms of depression
Signs of depression vary, but some common symptoms may include:
- Ongoing sadness
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Sleep issues
- Feeling overwhelmed
When to seek help?
The longer you wait to seek help with depression, the harder it can be. If your symptoms have lingered for more than two weeks and you’re struggling to manage life’s commitments, visit your GP.
A GP will be able to assess your symptoms and refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist if needed.
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There are also some great free services available through mental health organisations such as:
For a full list of services recommended by the government, check out the Head to Health service providers page.
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1 Beyond Blue - Depression fact sheet
This article contains general information only and does not take into account the health, personal situation or needs of any person. In conjunction with your GP or treating health care professional, please consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.