One in five Australians will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.  Depression is a serious illness that goes beyond the regular ‘blues’ that most people experience from time to time.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression is more than just feeling sad and teary. It is typically viewed as a change in functioning with varying degrees of severity, duration and persistence, affecting people in the areas mood, thinking, behaviour and physical health.

Common symptoms of depression are:

  • Sadness, tearfulness, emptiness
  • Hopelessness, worthlessness
  • Guilt, worry
  • Thoughts or acts of suicide or self-harm
  • Difficulties with concentration and making decisions
  • Loss of interest in activities that had previously brought pleasure
  • Reduced libido
  • Disturbed sleep and appetite
  • Agitation, restlessness
  • Low energy, motivation
  • Social withdrawal

Adolescents with depression may be irritable rather than showing an obvious low mood.

When to seek help

We all experience some of the above symptoms from time to time. So how do you know if the normal ups and downs of life have progressed to something more serious? You or your loved one might have been feeling low in mood for most of the past two weeks or longer, and may have noticed that performing the normal tasks of everyday life are much more difficult. For example, it may be a struggle to get up in the morning, things are not as enjoyable as they once were, life may seem pointless.

What to do next

  • Tell someone you trust what is going on.
  • Talk to your GP.
  • Contact psych180 with any queries or to organise a time to meet with one of our clinical psychologists.

How can a Clinical Psychologist help you?

Clinical psychologists provide the most appropriate evidence-supported treatment for the type of issue their client is experiencing.

Psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioural  Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (ITP) have been well researched and have a clear evidence base demonstrating their success in treating mild to moderate depression. When depression is more severe, medications prescribed by a GP or Psychiatrist may complement the psychological therapy.

CBT is based on the idea that a person can influence how they feel by being able to recognise and change unhelpful thinking and beliefs, and behaviours that prolong or exacerbate depression. ITP targets interpersonal difficulties that are seen as contributing to or maintaining depression