5 things you should know about depression
Everyone feels sad sometimes. But some people feel sadness so severe that it affects their day to day life. Depression is more than just feeling sadness, it’s a serious health condition that can prevent people from leading fulfilled lives and can even lead to suicide.
If you think you may have depression, take Beyond Blue’s anxiety and depression checklist as a first step in seeking help.
Did you know?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is a common mental health condition. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from it.
Causes of depression
There is no one cause of depression. There’s often a combination of factors that lead to a person developing depression. These could include:
Life stress. Long-term unemployment, isolation, work stress or living in an abusive relationship are life factors likely to cause depression. A more recent life stress such as losing a job can trigger depression if someone is already at risk because of long-term life stress.
Personality. People who worry a lot, are self-critical and negative or have low self-esteem are generally more at risk of depression.
Genetics. Some people are at a higher genetic risk of having depression as the condition can run in families. While having a parent, auntie, uncle or grandparent with depression doesn’t mean you will necessarily have it, this does increase the chances. However, life circumstances and personality are still big influences on the likelihood of getting the condition or not.
Serious medical illness/disability. Coping with a serious medical illness or long-term disability can lead to depression, especially if you’re dealing with chronic pain.
Substance use. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or using recreational drugs can lead to depression, but also become a coping mechanism of depression itself.
Did you know?
More women are affected by depression than men.
Signs of depression
Everyone experiences some of these symptoms every now and then. However, if you’ve felt sad or miserable for more than two weeks and have experienced many of the below signs and symptoms, you may have depression.
- Not performing at work or school to your usual standard
- Withdrawing from close family and friends
- Using alcohol or recreational drugs to numb your feelings
- Feeling miserable, overwhelmed, frustrated or lacking in confidence all or most of the time
- Thinking things like ‘life isn’t worth living’ and ‘people would be better off without me’
- Feeling tired all the time but having sleep problems
- Having a change of appetite with significant weight loss or gain
If you or someone you know is experiencing these feelings, take the Beyond Blue anxiety and depression checklist to indicate whether you may have depression and find resources on where to seek help. You can then speak to a qualified health professional and receive treatment.
To receive a diagnosis of depression, a person will generally be presenting with multiple ongoing symptoms, lasting more than two weeks, that dramatically affect their ability to live a full life.
A mental health professional, specifically a psychologist, is the only person who can officially diagnose depression and recommend treatment. There are many treatments that can successfully help people who have depression, so it’s important to seek help to manage the condition.
There are effective treatments for moderate and severe depression including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). These therapies are often coupled with some sort of antidepressant medication to best assist in management and even recovery.
Living with depression
Depression can affect anyone at any time, no matter what’s going on in their life. The organisation SANE discovered that around 6% of all adult Australians are affected by a depressive illness every year. That’s a lot of people in the community, in the work force, our friends and family who have the condition.
If you or someone you know is living with depression, these national help lines and websites are available for support.
Getting a job with depression
A person with depression can definitely find and keep a job. At AimBig Employment, our Job Coaches have experience working with people who have a range of mental health disorders. We will work with you to:
- Build your confidence, resilience and routine
- Help you develop better relationships
- Improve the tasks and activities of daily living
- Attend appointments, social functions and community activities
Read what some of our job seekers had to say about working with us to find sustainable employment.
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