While everyone experiences feelings of sadness, disappointment, or 'the blues' from time to time, depression refers to a range of mood and other symptoms that are more intense, pervasive and long-lasting, and interfere with day-to-day life and relationships.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
The key symptoms of depression include one or both of the following:
These symptoms are experienced persistently for at least two weeks, along with several other symptoms over the same period. These vary from person to person, but can include:
TIPS ON HOW TO MANAGE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Loss of Interest in Pleasurable Activities and Daily Routine
There is evidence to show that increasing activity levels and participating in pleasurable experiences can help reduce depressive symptoms. The following points provide guidelines for increasing pleasurable activities and the sense of accomplishment you experience.
Remember that during a depressive episode you often lack motivation to work through daily routines and things you enjoyed previously may not seem as enjoyable. Focus on the positive, no matter how small, and remember that as you recover, the enjoyment you experience will increase.
Worrying and Negative Thinking
Changing negative thinking patterns and reducing worry is not as easy as it may seem. This is an area where people often require the assistance of a psychologist or other mental health professional. Below are some suggestions for learning to control worry and reduce negative thinking.
Irritability, Agitation and Fatigue
Being irritable or agitated is a normal part of depression. It is important that people close to you are aware of this so that they can be more patient and understanding, rather than annoyed and unsupportive. Below are some tips to help you deal with irritability and agitation.
Changes in Sleeping Patterns
Regular healthy sleeping patterns are extremely important for people recovering from depression. Listed below are a few key points to assist you in establishing healthy sleeping patterns.
If you feel that your situation is hopeless and particularly if suicidal thoughts are present, it is essential to seek help and to speak to someone about how you are feeling.
If you, or someone you know, would like help overcoming the symptoms of depression, please phone 07-3360 0225 or book an appointment online now.
(Adapted from Australian Psychological Society Fact Sheet)
DEBORAH FARRELL (MCounPsych)