World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
The majority of people affected by mental illness are able to lead independent and contributing lives in the community, with the right treatment and support. With one in five Australians affected, they form part of our close circles of family, friends and colleagues, and interact with us in our communities every day.
It’s time to look at mental illness in a different light – a positive light.
Let’s talk Depression
While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it's a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.
Depression is a common mental disorder, characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Depression is treatable, with talking therapies or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.
Your GP is here to help, if you are experiencing any of the below symptoms please see your doctor.
Signs and symptoms- could you or a loved one have depression?
Feeling down for more than 2 weeks
You may be depressed if, for more than two weeks, you've felt sad, down or miserable most of the time, or have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities, and have also experienced several of the signs and symptoms across at least three of the categories below.
It’s important to remember that we all experience some of these symptoms from time to time, and it may not necessarily mean you're depressed. Equally, not everyone who is experiencing depression will have all of these symptoms.
Things to watch out for:
not going out anymore
not getting things done at work/school
withdrawing from close family and friends
relying on alcohol and sedatives
not doing usual enjoyable activities
unable to concentrate
lacking in confidence
Experiencing thoughts like below:
'I’m a failure.'
'It’s my fault.'
'Nothing good ever happens to me.'
'Life’s not worth living.'
'People would be better off without me.'
tired all the time
sick and run down
headaches and muscle pains
loss or change of appetite
significant weight loss or gain
If you think that you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, complete the Beyond Blue checklist here and please see your GP.