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If you are feeling depressed, there are heaps of people who can help you find new ways of coping with your emotions. Having someone you can talk with during tough times can really help.
Depression is a serious illness, but it is treatable. It is important you get help, just like you would seek professional advice for a physical illness.
If you feel so depressed that you want to harm yourself, it is important to talk to someone right now. Tell a person you trust or speak to a health care professional or call Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
Symptoms of depression
We all feel sad and low from time to time. This is normal. Clinical depression is different. It is more than just normal feelings of sadness.
Different people describe depression differently, and it may not feel exactly the same for any two people. Many depressed young people appear to be angry or irritable rather than sad.
Some of the things associated with depression include:
- feeling sad, blue or down
- feeling anxious
- feeling hopeless, like there's nothing left to look forward to
- feeling empty or numb
- having no energy
- being tired all the time
- feeling lonely or unloved
- not being interested in anything, because nothing seems fun anymore
- feeling restless or irritable
- crying and not knowing why you're crying
- getting headaches or stomach aches
- not eating, and losing weight
- eating much more than usual
- not being able to get to sleep, or waking up early
- wanting to do nothing but sleep
- feeling grumpy or bad tempered
- starting to use, or using more drugs, including alcohol or tobacco
- difficulty thinking or concentrating
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness
- thinking of death or suicide - all threats or talk of suicide should be taken seriously.
If someone is suffering from five or more of these symptoms for most of the time over two weeks or longer, then they are probably depressed.
Sometimes people who are depressed are made to feel bad because they have some of these symptoms.
Family and friends may just think they are being lazy. This can cause further suffering and a deeper sense of depression.
Where to get help
In an emergency contact your General Practitioner or local hospital Emergency Department.
Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Youthline: 02 9951 5522
Mental Health Information Service:1300 794 991
Salvo Crisis Line: 02 9331 2000
Reach Out!: lots of information for young people on depression and other mental health issues
BeyondBlue: the Federal Government’s national initiative on depression, provides info on such questions as how you know if someone close to you is depressed, how to help someone with depression, understanding depression and treatment options, as well as indepth resources and a bulletin board
Dark side of the moon: the ABC’s overview of depression, its causes and treatment