Depression is a huge problem in Australia with the rates of people that suffer from this debilitating condition constantly increasing. Depression and anxiety often have their onset in the teenage years. This may be associated with loss of energy and social withdrawal but may also result in disruptive behaviours or substance use (drugs and alcohol).

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems in young people. At any point in time, up to five percent of adolescents experience depression that is severe enough to warrant treatment, and around 20% of young people will have experienced significant depressive symptoms by the time they reach adulthood.

What are the symptoms of depression?

To ascertain if you are suffering from depression, you might experience 5 or more of these symptoms for a minimum of a 2-week period:

  • Persistent pessimism, sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, or guilt
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in normal activities, involving sex
  • A hard time focusing and complaints of bad memory
  • Worsening of severe disease, like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Lack of energy, fatigue
  • Irritability, agitation, anxiety
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Slow movements; slow speech
  • Digestive problems, stomachache, and headache
  • Loss of libido

Maintain supportive relationships to beat depression

Here are some ideas for how you can begin to beat depression:

  • Turn to your trusted family members and friends. Share what you are going through with those you trust and love. Research shows that support from friends helps your physical and emotional health. You might’ve retreated from your more cherished relationships, yet they could get you through this rough patch.
  • Attempt to keep up with your social activities even as you do not feel up to it. As you are depressed, it’ll feel cozier retreating within your shell. However, being around others helps you feel less depressed.
  • Join a depression support group. Being with other people dealing with depression could go a long way within decreasing your feelings of isolation. You also can encourage one another, receive and give advice upon how to cope, as well as share personal experiences.
  • Speak to one individual about how you feel or consider seeking the support of a professional depression counsellor.
  • Aid another person by volunteering. Doing altruistic activities can make a huge difference to help you maintain good mental health.

Take good care of yourself to overcome depression

Write down a list of things you could do for a fast mood boost. Involve any tasks, skills, or plans which have worked before. The more coping tools you have, the better. Attempt to incorporate a couple of these tips daily, even if you are feeling alright:

  • Spend a bit of time in nature.
  • Jot down what it is you appreciate about yourself.
  • Read an interesting book.
  • View a comedic TV show or movie.
  • Take a hot, long bath.

Challenge your habitual negative thoughts

Methods of challenging negative thoughts:

  • Keep a negative thinking journal. As you have negative thinking, write the thought down and what triggered the thought into a notebook. Review the journal while you are within a good mood. Think back if that negativity truly was warranted.
  • Replace any negatives with positives. Review the negative thought journal. Plus, for all negative thoughts, jot positive thoughts down in their place. For example, “My employer despises me. He gave me a hard report to finish” can be replaced with, “My employer must possess lots of faith in me to provide me with so much responsibility.”
  • Socialise with people who are positive. See how individuals who always look upon the brighter side of things handle challenges, even small ones, such as not having the ability to locate a parking space.  Consider how you’d react within the exact same situation.

Understand when you should obtain professional help

If you discover your depression becoming worse, seek expert assistance. Needing extra depression treatment does not mean you are weak. At times, negative thinking in depression could make you feel as if you are a lost cause, yet depression may be treated and it’s possible to feel better!

Related articles:

How a Support Group can Help Depression

Depression in Rural Australia: What are the Causes?

How to Recognise and Treat Depression

Depression is a serious illness and often requires professional treatment. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, Australia Counselling links you with professional counsellors in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and country areas of Australia. Search under depression for counsellors that focus on this area of practice in a location near you.

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