How do you know if you have depression?
Depression presents itself in many different ways resulting from a number of factors from long-term life difficulties or personal issues. Typically we can all feel sad or blue every now and then but manage to cope and soon recover without treatment. People who experience depression may change physical and social behaviours such as not carrying out their work and daily activities or withdrawing from relationships. As a guide, these symptoms may be experienced most days and can last for at least 14 days.
If you have already experienced depression, it's likely that you may experience some form of depression again if triggered by life events. Everyone will experience depression differently and it can be caused from a combination of factors such as genetics, substance use, life difficulties and illness.
Some possible depression signs and symptoms may include:
- Unusually sad mood.
- Loss of enjoyment and interest in activities that you used to enjoy.
- Lack of energy and signs of tiredness.
- Feelings of worthlessness or feeling of guilt for no reason.
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
- Difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Moving more slowly or becoming agitated and unable to settle.
- Loss of appetite or eating too much.
If you think you are suffering from depression it is important to seek help so you can recover and get your life back on track. There are a number of treatments that can benefit depression including discussing with your GP or speak to a qualified counsellor on a regular basis not just when you are feeling down. If you're into reading, I recommend Taming the Black Dog by Bev Aisbett; It provides a simple guide on depression and its origins. Practicing relaxation techniques can also help as an alternative treatment even if it's just taking a moment to focus on your breathing.
If you require immediate support please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are in a an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000,