Posted: Jul 05 2021

In Australia, 1 in 7 people will experience depression in their lifetime [1], and there are over 264 million people worldwide who are affected by it[2]. Depression is a feeling of sadness that lasts for a consistent period of time and can feel like you simply can't escape. It can be all-consuming, and impact your day-to-day life.

Signs and symptoms

Beyond Blue lists some of the signs and symptoms of depression as:

  • feeling overwhelmed
  • withdrawing from close family and friends
  • not getting things done
  • feeling tired and run down
  • having headaches and muscle pains
  • suffering sleep problems
  • developing a loss or change of appetite
  • significant weight loss or gain

If you think that you may be experiencing depression, Beyond Blue’s anxiety and depression checklist may give you more insight.

When should I seek support from a professional?

While we all can experience these symptoms from time to time, it’s important to seek support when you need it.

Talking to a close friend or family member may help you challenge some of your negative thoughts. You may feel frightened or embarrassed to do this, particularly if you have a feeling of low self-worth, but it is a worthwhile step. If you have been experiencing depression symptoms for longer than two weeks, speak with your GP.

Treatment options and strategies

Everyone is unique, therefore the right assistance and treatment will look different for everyone. There are a range of effective treatments and health professionals who can help you on the road to recovery. Some treatment options and strategies include:

  • ensuring you are eating a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise and getting enough sleep
  • practising and building mental resilience
  • staying mentally active
  • therapy sessions, which may include cognitive behaviour therapy or mindfulness
  • medication

Apps such as Headspace and Smiling Mind are an excellent tool for guided meditations for all ages, and wellbeing tracking apps can also help.

Depending on your individual needs, your doctor will help determine the best treatment plan for you.

Online resources and support

Seeing a GP or mental health professional are a great place to seek more support. There are also free resources and support are available online, via text or phone call to suit your needs.

Beyond BlueBeyond Blue 1300 224 636 for 24-hour phone support, online chat, resources and apps.
Head to HealthThe Australian Government’s Head to Health can help you find digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations.
LifelineLifeline 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 for 24-hour Australian counselling services.
PANDA1300 726 306 helpline Mon-Sat 9am-7.30pm supporting new and expecting parents who are struggling with their mental health.
Kids Helpline Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 for free confidential 24-hour counselling for young people aged five to 18.

Reviewed by Sarah Davies, registered psychologist.

Posted: Jul 05 2021


The information contained here is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal medical situation. The information is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or used for therapeutic purposes. Should you require specific medical information, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. Health Partners does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.

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