Dealing with depression
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses experienced by young women today. New mothers and women who diet regularly are at an increased risk of suffering depression. It is also one of the leading causes for suicide among Australian women. So why is this issue so rarely discussed?
Here, we touch the tip of the iceberg on the vast and wide-reaching mental illness that is depression, in the hope that it will encourage some of you that may be suffering silently to recognise it – and seek help…
What is depression?
While we all experience blue periods during our lives, depression is characterised by intense, prolonged feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness that can often be debilitating, affecting a person’s ability to function normally in everyday life.
Following is a list of the most commonly reported depression symptoms. A person with depression may experience some or all of these symptoms and they will usually last for a period of more than two weeks:
-Increased sensitivity/difficulty coping with small criticisms
-Loss of interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
-Lack of appetite or increased appetite
-Lapses in memory
-Loss of sex drive
-Becoming detached from family and friends/spending more time alone
-Alcohol and drug abuse
Seeking treatment for depression is crucial. Left untreated, depression will usually become more severe. There are a number of resources available to you if you think that you or someone close to you may be suffering from depression. The first step is to speak to your local GP about your symptoms. Your GP will be able to give you an assessment to identify whether or not you may have depression and recommend you to a mental health professional who can treat your specific needs. There is no quick fix for depression, so it’s important to have a support network in place of health professionals, friends and family who can help you get through the treatment process. Many mental health treatments are also covered under Medicare.
For more information about this, or about any other mental health issues, speak to your GP or go to: www.beyondblue.org.au