What is Depression?

Current statistics show that Australian women are much more likely to be medically diagnosed with depression than are Australian men. However, figures also show that young Australian men are four times more likely to kill themselves because of depression than an Australian women. Rates have tripled in the last 30 years with the highest risk for males being between 18 and 27.

Depression is more than just feeling down or moody. It is an illness that affects the body and mind, causing both psychological and physical symptoms. Depression is surprisingly common with up to one in four women and one in six men experiencing a form of depression at some point in their lives. However, everyone that suffers from depression can be helped in ways that give at least some change in these behaviour patterns.

Some Common Signs of Depression

Depression is different for everyone as it affects people in different ways. No one person will suffer from every sign of depression, but if you are suffering from a few, it is time to take change and do something about it.
Here are some common signs:

  • increased irritability and frustration (anger)
  • losing interest in or not getting pleasure out of social activities and hobbies (disassociated)
  • feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness
  • decreased levels of energy or feeling fatigued
  • insomnia or other disturbed sleep
  • difficulty concentrating or making decisions (a part of me wants this another part wants something different)
  • low self-esteem or a feeling of hopelessness
  • loss of appetite or weight loss/gain
  • negative thoughts regarding the future(anxiety)
  • loss of identity (don’t know who I am)
  • feeling alone, even if you are surrounded by other people (I don’t belong)
  • recklessness or taking unnecessary risks
  • feelings of anxiety ( high heart rate, sweaty palms, dry mouth, hot flush)
  • feeling upset or tearful for no apparent reason (emotional)
  • avoiding tasks such as attending work or school (apathy)
  • increased use of substances such as alcohol and recreational drugs (loss of control)
  • physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment (e.g. headaches)

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