Depression is a serious illness that affects thousands of Australians.
Despite the fact that it is one of the most common health problems in our society today, depression remains a misunderstood illness.
Some facts on depression:
Depression affects around one in every five people at some time in their life;
Each year, almost 800,000 Australian adults will experience a depressive illness;
Depression is the third most common cause of illness among women and the tenth most common cause among men;
The World Health Organisation has predicted that by 2020, depression will be the second biggest health problem world-wide, behind heart disease.
What is depression?
Depression is more than just feeling sad or down for a little while. The World Health Organisation classifies depression as the following:
Two weeks of abnormal depressed mood;
Loss of interest and decreased energy;
Loss of confidence;
Recurrent thoughts of death;
Sleep disturbance; and
Change in appetite.
What can be done?
Many people are too ashamed to talk about depression, and may fail to seek help. Sadly, some people still view depression as a sign of weakness, or a “made up” disease. This is definitely not the case! Just like any other health problem, such as the flu or diabetes, depression is an illness. And just like other health problems, there are ways to treat it.
If you’re worried that you might be suffering from depression, there’s no need to feel ashamed or alone. Talk to your doctor, your local community health worker or a counsellor ” these people are trained to help you, and will give you the support and treatment that you need.