Depression – more than just feeling sad
People often say ‘I’m depressed!’ when they’re feeling a little bit down or sad. They might say things like ‘I’m so depressed the Socceroos are out of the World Cup!’ Or ‘I’m so depressed I don’t fit this dress anymore!’
But being depressed is not just a feeling of mild sadness that goes away fairly soon. In reality, the feeling of being depressed is much more pervasive and debilitating.
Depression can affect anyone at any time, we can help.
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Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced … It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.J.K. Rowling, 'The Times', June 2000
Depression: Feeling sad and down all the time
Being depressed is not just a feeling of mild sadness that goes away fairly soon. In reality, the feeling of being depressed is much more pervasive and debilitating. Depression can be a constant drain, making you feel sad and down all the time. It makes every day things hard and can seriously impact motivation and relationships.
What is it like to experience depression?
If you’re depressed, you might:
- have a strong sense of hopelessness or feel things will never get better
- blame and criticise yourself, feel very bad or guilty
- sleep and eat differently — some people eat or sleep very little, while others sleep or eat much more than usual
- withdraw from life — when there’s no pleasure or enjoyment to be had from activities, people stop doing the fun things they used to do
- have suicidal thoughts — for some these thoughts can become intense and dangerous.
- have sad feelings that stay around — your low mood lasts most of the day, every day for weeks and weeks
- find that how you function in the world is affected by these problems, causing a negative impact on things like work, study and relationships.
What are the causes of depression?
The causes of depression are complicated and still being researched. It is generally agreed that depression is caused by a combination of genetic factors (things passed down through your family) and environmental factors (things that happen to you or that you encounter in your life). Some of the main environmental factors are:
- a recent stressful event or trauma
- long-term stress — ongoing issues such as an abusive relationship or a ‘toxic’ workplace
- physical illness
- drug and alcohol use.
However, there are many other causes and they usually occur in combination. The take-home message is that if you are going through depression, this is not your fault. You are not to blame for the way you are feeling.
Number of people who suffer depression
Postnatal depression effects 14% of new mothers in Australia
We are here to help
We are a team of psychologists with a shared goal — to provide you with caring, ethical and effective psychological services.
We are passionate about our work and love helping you make the changes you want to see in your life.
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As your local family psychologists, our practice is a place you can return to whenever you need us.
We use evidence-based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Our team has a wide range of clinical experience and we each have our special areas of expertise.
Think we can help? Get in touch
If you think we can help then the first step is to get in touch. Contact us for more information or to make an appointment.