Depression is widespread throughout the community, affecting one in six Australians.
It accounts for more days of lost productivity than heart disease, cancer or stroke,
making it the number one disabling illness in the country.
Many people with depression – particularly men – don’t know they have the condition
and it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. If left untreated, the symptoms of
depression are likely to worsen and can be a risk factor for suicide. Many men try
to cover up their feelings of depression with alcohol and drugs, which worsens the
beyondblue: the national depression initiative works to raise awareness of the signs
and symptoms of depression, anxiety and related disorders, and provide detailed
information on available treatments (medical and psychological) and where to get
help. This helps reduce misinformation about depression and increases the number
of people who seek help.
The good news is that with the right help, most people recover from depression. A
good first step is to learn about the signs and symptoms and talk to your General
Practitioner if you think you, or someone you know, may be going through it.
Chairman of beyondblue, Jeff Kennett, says depression is common and is nothing to
be embarrassed or ashamed about.
“The most important responsibility we all have is the condition of our own health.
If we are not healthy, we cannot properly care for our partners, our children, and
our professional lives as well as we would wish. To do that, we need to be mature
enough to realise when we need help and then to seek it, or help our mates when
they need it.
“If you have problems you’re worried about, whether they are relationship, financial
or health issues, don’t feel ashamed to put your hand up and seek help. The moment
you admit to having a problem, you are on the road to recovery.
“There is always light at the end of the tunnel and if we should find ourselves feeling
down because we are going through tough times, remember with the right help we
can deal with changes and return to leading full, productive and exciting lives.”
The beyondblue website contains depression checklists to fill out and dozens of
FREE fact sheets, booklets and other information to download.
You can view the website at www.beyondblue.org.au. The beyondblue information
line 1300 22 4636 (local call cost from a landline) operates 24/7 and is staffed
by mental health professionals who can help with information and referral. If you
don’t have access to the internet, you can call the information line to order FREE
Depression – key signs and symptoms
- Persistent feelings of sadness
- Feelings of failure, worthlessness or guilt
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Frequent anger or frustration
- Sleeping problems
- Lack of confidence
- Poor concentration or indecisiveness
- Feeling sick and rundown
- Changes in appetite
- Overuse or reliance on alcohol, prescribed or illicit drugs
If you or someone you know has some of these common symptoms of depression
and they’ve persisted for more than two weeks, it’s important to consult a doctor or
other mental health professional.
For urgent assistance, call the Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251 or the
National Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or Mensline on 1300 78 99 78.
To find out more about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, available treatments and where to get help, visit the beyondblue website at www.beyondblue.org.au or call the info line on 1300 22 4636.
This article is courtesy of beyondblue: the national depression initiative.