Feeling ‘down’ or sad every now and then is a normal human experience. It is normal for an individual to feel sad following a hurtful or difficult event. This can make it difficult to determine whether the feelings you are experiencing are normal, or symptoms of a more serious issue, such as depression.
Depression is a mental condition that alters our perception, emotions and thinking. It is characterised by feelings of sadness that last longer than usual and affect many aspects of life, causing a loss of pleasure and interest in most activities. (DSM-5, 2013).
Depression is quite common, in fact, in any one year, around 1 million Australian adults will experience symptoms of depression (Beyond Blue, 2016).
How do I know if I’m experiencing depression?
When an individual experiences sadness following a difficult event, this emotional state often diminishes when we have adjusted or moved on from the event. However, if the sadness is prolonged and impedes on several aspects of life, such as work, relationships and hobbies, an individual may be experiencing depression. Evidently, if, for more than two weeks, you’ve felt sad, depressed or irritable, you may be experiencing depression. Other common symptoms include:
- Weight loss or gain due to loss of interest in food or overeating
- Difficulties falling asleep or over-sleeping
- Lack of motivation and energy, or feeling tired more of the time
- Frequent feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulties concentrating and making decisions
If you believe you may be suffering from depression, it is important to get help.
Although it can seem difficult, it is important to talk to someone that you trust about how you feel.
You can talk to a friend, family member, your general practitioner or a psychologist.
To book an appointment with one of our psychologists, please phone (07) 3488 0483 or send us an email at email@example.com.
Beyond Blue. (2016). What is Depression? Retrieved from https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition: DSM-5. United States: American Psychiatric Association Publishing