If you’re wondering, it might be time to reach out for help. Learn the signs, symptoms, and common treatment approaches of depression.
The clinical definition of depression, also known as Major Depression Disorder, is a ‘severe and persistent low mood, profound sadness, or a sense of despair.’
This means an ongoing, deep sadness that lasts beyond a couple of weeks, and often persists for much longer.
While deep sadness is the most obvious symptom of depression, many other symptoms can appear in a person who is suffering from it.
These can include:
Depression can affect anyone, of any age, gender, socioeconomic background, cultural group or religious affiliation. In fact, in any one year, around one million people in Australia experience depression and it remains one of the top reasons people visit their GP.
No one thing causes depression but, for some people, depression can be situational. This means that a specific stressful life event such as losing a loved one or a job, or the end of a relationship, can trigger a depressive episode. For others, there is no specific ‘reason’ or cause – it just happens.
Genetics can play a role in whether or not you are likely to have depression, although this is not always the case. If someone in your biological family suffers from depression, research suggests you are more likely to experience it in your lifetime than someone who does not have an affected family member.
In addition to genetics, your body may play a role in whether or not you will experience depression. The areas of the brain that manage emotional responses and emotion regulation, the interpretation of information (with a bias for negative information) and response to stress can behave differently in people who experience depression compared to those who do not.
While depression can be difficult and painful, help is available.
As the largest private provider of mental health care in Australia, we are dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of those we treat, with whatever pathway they need.
We encourage you to reach out to our expert team who can assist you in finding the right avenue for your mental health care journey.