Different people experience depression differently. What is common among everyone who experiences depression is a low mood for most of each day for a certain period of time.
Also common is a loss of enjoyment in favourite activities.
Other symptoms are also common but not everyone experiences every one:
Thoughts of death and suicide.
Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
What is depression?
Depression is more than feeling sad. Everybody feels sad from time to time and in many situations sadness is a normal response to a life event.
Depression is usually diagnosed by a Mental Health Professional when symptoms impact daily functioning in social, occupational or interpersonal areas.
Depression sometimes occurs alongside other conditions such as chronic pain, long term illness or other mental illnesses such as anxiety.
There are several types of depression, and the treatments for most of them are effective.
How can you treat depression?
Some people improve when they take an anti-depressant prescribed by their GP; others find working with a psychologist helpful and others do both.
Anti-depressant medication is improving all the time. So if you’ve had a bad experience with an anti-depressant medication in the past, there might a newer medication that works better for you.
Finding a GP with good mental health knowledge is a good start, or seeing a psychiatrist can help you find what will work best for you.
A common problem people have is that anti-depressant medication can take a few weeks to work so when people don’t feel better right away they stop taking the medicine.
It is advised to withdraw from anti-depressant medication under the advice of a medical practitioner.
If you are worried that you or someone you care about may have depression, the best place to start is with your GP or contact the EAP on 1800 369 277 in Australia; 0800 327 669 in New Zealand or email email@example.com
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
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