What is depression?
Depression doesn’t just mean the normal feelings of sadness that everyone experiences when life gets difficult. It can be sadness that doesn’t go away, or a loss of interest or pleasure in the things you used to enjoy, plus a range of other changes in the way you feel, think or act. If any of these feelings or symptoms last for more than 2 weeks, it could be depression.
The symptoms of depression usually develop over days to weeks, although the low mood might start in the months before. It can be triggered by life events, or it may just happen out of the blue.
With effective treatment, about half of people with moderate depression will be much better within 6 to 8 weeks. For people who don’t get treatment, the duration of depression varies widely. Some will get better after several months, some will recover partially, and others will continue to be depressed long term.
If you think you could be depressed, the first step to getting better is talking to someone about it.
If you feel life is not worth living, get help immediately by calling:
- Lifeline 13 11 14,
- Hold On To Life 1800 HOLDON (1800 465 366) or
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- the emergency department of any hospital in Australia.