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Sadness, low mood and depression
Sadness is a normal human emotion, and all of us feel sad at times. But, for some people sadness can happen too often, and this can become depression. People with depression feel unhappy or sad, and sometimes angry, and often lose interest or stop enjoying many of the things they used to.
Depression is a serious condition which can have a distructive impact on your life. It often makes people feel hopeless and helpless, and it can lead to suicidal thoughts.
The good news is that depression is treatable. The best treatments involve learning about your symptoms, learning key skills for managing those symptoms, and gradually getting back into a healthy routine. Learning to beat depression can be challenging, particularly because the symptoms of depression often include a loss of motivation, energy, and confidence. But we believe that people can successfully learn to overcome depression and get back to enjoying their lives.
Symptoms of depression
- Feeling sad, teary or irritable.
- Losing interest in work, or in hobbies or in spending time with people you love.
- Loss of energy, feeling tired or exhaused.
- Changes in sleep - such as having difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual.
- Appetite can change, making you feel more or less hungry than usual.
- Reduced sexual interest.
- An increase in physical health problems like pain.
- Finding it hard to concentrate.
The symptoms of depression make life much more difficult to manage from day to day. We know that these symptoms can also make it more challenging to find the energy to seek help. We recommend seeking help from your GP as soon as possible, to check for underlying health problems which can cause depression.
GPs are the best starting point for someone seeking professional help. YourGP can:
- make a diagnosis
- check for any physical health problem or medication that may be contributing to the depression or anxiety
- discuss available treatments
- work with you to draw up a Mental Health Treatment Plan so you can get a Medicare rebate for psychological treatment
- prescribe medication
- refer a person to a mental health specialist such as a psychologist or psychiatrist
About Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists
Psychologists (minimum of 4 years training) and Clinical Psychologists (minimum of 6 years training) are health professionals who provide psychological therapies (talking therapies) such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
Clinical Psychologists specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. They cannot prescribe medication.
The good news is that depression is treatable. The best treatments involve learning about your symptoms, learning key skills for managing those symptoms, and gradually getting back into a healthy routine.
Learning to beat depression can be challenging, particularly because depression often robs people of motivation, energy, and confidence.
But we believe that people can successfully learn to overcome depression and get back to enjoying their lives.
It is not necessary to have a referral from a GP or psychiatrist to see a psychologist. However, a Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP is needed to claim psychology and clinical psychology rebates through Medicare.
If you have private health insurance and extras cover, you may be able to claim part of a psychologist's fee.
Depression and low mood can result in a loss of pleasure which may get in the way of you doing things. It's important to stay active, to stay connected to other people and to keep doing the things that make you feel good about yourself and about life.
Do something that raises your spirits every single day, even if it is just listening to your favourite piece of music.
Need some inspiration? Check out our list of 101 Pleasant Things To Do...
101 Pleasant Things To Do.pdf
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Mindworx Psychology DOES NOT provide an emergency or instant response service.
When people are depressed they may have thoughts of hurting themselves or of ending their life. If you are having such thoughts please seek help immediately.
You can go to your local hospital emergency department, or if you are in Australia you can call:
- Triple Zero (ph 000) in an Emergency
- Lifeline (ph 13 11 14)
- Suicide Call Back Service (ph 1300 659 467)
- Kids Helpline (ph 1800 551 800)
- MensLine Australia (ph 1300 78 99 78).
Remember depression CAN be treated.