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Depression and Anxiety

Do I have Depression?

Life is filled with ups and downs and it’s normal to be sad at times. However, depression is different than sadness.

When we talk about clinical depression, we are describing a mood disorder causing deep sadness that is difficult to shake on your own. Depression interferes with being able to function or carry out normal daily tasks.

Depression also manifests differently in everyone and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. People who suffer with clinical depression often share the following:

  • Feeling down for periods longer than two weeks
  • Loss of interest in activities that they previously enjoyed
  • That they don’t get the same pleasure out of things that they did in the past
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Experiencing negative self talk
  • Isolation

These symptoms may also be coupled with low levels of energy, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, feelings of worthlessness or guilt. These symptoms may result in thoughts of self-harm or suicide as well.

Not only does depression affect the mind it also affects the body. People may experience difficulty with sleeping patterns, changes in appetite leading to weight gain or loss, headaches or upset stomachs.

If you are struggling with depression, you may have had a friend, significant other, parent, or family member say things like:

  • “Just snap out of it!”
  • “Pull yourself together”
  • “You don’t look sick” “you look
  • Why can’t you just get over it
  • You are acting lazy
  • You should be over it by now

These kinds of comments from well meaning loved ones cause more harm than good because a person suffering with depression often already feels misunderstood, judged, lonely, and guilty.

Depression is not a state of mind, or a moral failure, or something a person can heal from just by snapping their fingers. Current research suggests that a combination of psychological, biological and social sources of distress, and/or unresolved trauma may cause changes in brain function leading to altered activity within certain neural circuits in the brain.

In other words you have a sad brain and that is not your fault. If you believe that you are dealing with depression, I encourage to reach out for support. There is help and healing so that you can experience joy, fulfillment, and plug back in to your life they way you are intended to live.


NOTE: If you are having suicidal thoughts please consider the following options;

Call you doctor    |    Call lifeline 131114    |    Reach out to a loved one or a close friend

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 000 or your local emergency number immediately. If you have a loved one, who you think is in danger of harming themselves or has made a suicide attempt; make sure someone stays with that person. Call 000 or if you are able to safely transport them take them to the nearest emergency room or hospital.

Do I have an Anxiety Disorder?

Stress and anxiety are a normal response to a life stressors or a new situation that is creating stress. Usually once the stressor has been removed, or managed, most individuals will notice that the feelings of stress and anxiety begin to disappear.

However, for some, these feelings do not go away. In fact, anxiety is the most common mental health issue in Australia with anxiety disorders affecting 1 in 7 people. If you are dealing with ongoing anxiety, you are not alone.

People who struggle with an anxiety disorder may experience symptoms ranging across the spectrum of disorders. As a support, I’ve outlined the six most common anxiety disorders:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder presents as uncontrollable worry around ordinary situations such as work, finances or health.
  • Social phobia or social anxiety disorder leads people to avoiding social or performance situations.
  • Panic disorder manifests as episodes of irrational fear, dizziness, shortness of breath and other physical symptoms.
  • Agoraphobia involves avoiding certain situations out of fear of having a panic attack. Suffers often avoid public transport, tunnels bridges, shopping centers, crowds and may have a fear of leaving the house or being alone at home.
  • Specific Phobias are irrational fears of one particular thing or situation, such as fear of insects, animals, people or places.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that involves uncontrollable thoughts and impulses (obsessions) causing repetitive routine behaviours you feel compelled to perform.

1 in 7 people suffer with anxiety. If you are dealing with ongoing anxiety, you are not alone.