Signs of Depression

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BY Donna Okines

A lot of us, at some point in our life, will feel sad, moody or low, and some will experience these feelings intensely. Depression is more than just feeling sad or low, it is a serious illness that impacts both physical and mental health.

Depression can be a killer, just like cancer; but it seems that people see it as just a minor issue that someone just needs to get over it and be happy.

The exact cause of depression is not known, but there are a number of things that can be associated with its development.

These include:

  • life events

e.g.- losing job, losing a loved one, money issues etc.

 

  • personal factors

e.g. – family history, self-esteem, drug and alcohol use.

 

  • chemical changes in the brain

Often sufferers feel alone and cut off from family and friends. Supporting someone with a mental health issue can sometimes be tough. If you know someone who has depression it will help to understand their condition and feel confident in how you can support them.

Danger signals in the behaviour of someone suffering depression.

If the person you are concerned for is feeling isolated or desperate, they may say they are overwhelmed and that life is pointless, and they want to end it.

Mentioning suicide is not always the same thing as wanting to end their life, but it is important to take it seriously and in no way make light of it.

If you believe they are in danger of hurting themselves, call emergency services. They will respond and arrange an assessment.

For further information or if you or someone you know needs help the following websites are available:

www.mindhealthconnect.org.au

www.beyondblue.org.au

www.depression.com

 

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