Depression

What is Depression?

 

We all feel sad from time to time. It’s normal to feel sad in certain situations, such as when someone we know dies or is seriously ill, or if we are having relationship difficulties or troubles at work. If we feel low, down or sad, we sometimes say we feel ‘depressed’. 

 

Depression, however, is more than feeling sad. It is a clinical condition that occurs when a person experiences at least two weeks of:

 

Feeling down, sad or miserable for much of the day, and/or

 

Loss of interest in pleasurable activities

 

What are the symptoms of depression?

 

A person experiencing depression usually has at least four other symptoms over two or more weeks, such as:

 

Changes in sleep patterns

 

Changes in appetite or weight

 

Lack of energy

 

Difficulties concentrating or making decisions

 

Agitation or slowing down of physical movements

 

Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

 

Recurrent thoughts of death  

 

Who gets depression?

 

In Australia, about 1 million adults (16-85) and 160,000 young adults (16-24) experience depression each year. Serious depression affects around 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men during their lives.

 

A period of depression is most likely caused by several factors working together, such as recent stressful events as well as long-term risk factors (e.g. genetics).

 

Treatment for Depression 

 

There are effective treatments available for depression. For most, psychological treatments are effective. In very severe cases this may also include medication taken under the guidance of a medical practitioner.

 

Cognitive behaviour therapy. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an effective structured psychological treatment for depression.  

 

CBT for depression helps you to learn how to identify and challenge any thoughts that fuel sadness, and learning techniques to help change behaviour. 

 

Where can I receive treatment for Depression?

 

There are a number of ways you can access psychological treatment for depression and you can choose a way that works best for you. This can be in-person with a mental health professional, or online with the support of a program.

 

By registering, you can access Mental Health Online’s free and comprehensive depression assessment and treatment. You may like to do this by yourself in our self-guided option, but you can also opt for our free therapist-assisted program via email, chat, or video.

 

Explore other treatment options

 

For further information about treatment options and assistance:

 

Visit your GP

 

Explore other online therapies at Head to Health

 

Find a Psychologist through the Australian Psychological Society’s referral service

 

Contact your local community health centre



Last Updated : 20-Jul-2018