Understanding Depression

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Counselling from a professional psychologist helps in understanding depression and anxiety in either a loved one, or yourself. Depression is a serious disorder and can be caused by any number of things.

Depression is common among Australians, with an average of 20% of us experiencing a depressive disorder in our lifetime. While everyone feels down from time to time, feelings of depression last for weeks or months, and are generally quite severe.


Other symptoms of depression can include:

  • Low mood
  • Persistent negative thoughts
  • Troubled sleeping patterns
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Increased drug or alcohol consumption
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reckless behaviour
  • Suicidal thoughts

Depression can impact so many areas of our lives, from our relationships, to our work, home and social lives, as well as physical life. But there’s help out there, and you don’t have to be alone in this. Our psychologists are trained in a wide range of techniques to help you to understand and work through your depression, including the gold standard cognitive behavioural therapy. While it may not be easy, recovery from depression is possible, and we are here to support you, for as long as it takes. Our client Connect Team will match you up with a suitable Psychologist based on your needs. Call today (03) 9809 1000

Depression Test

A depression test is a means of determining whether a person is depressed or just experiencing a temporary low mood. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (also known as the K10 scale) is one of the most common test methods used by your GP to simply identify and measure levels of psychological distress. The K10 scale consists of 10 questions about a person’s emotional states each with a five-level response scale. For each question, a score is given depending on the answer on the five-level scale. The total tally indicates a person’s level of distress.

If your GP finds you are depressed then they will recommend putting in place a Mental Health Care Plan and refer you to a psychologist for counselling. You can request to see a Three Seas Psychologist at this point. They may also recommend anti-depression medication.

Take our Depression Quiz for self reference.

Depression Signs in Children and Adolescents

It is often differently expressed from children to adults. What they have in common is that counselling from a professional psychologist helps.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of signs of depression in children and adolescents:

  • Mentions feeling hopeless or worthless.
  • Changes in behaviour like being: sad; irritable; withdrawn and unemotional; lacking in energy, and suddenly bored a lot of the time.
  • Have trouble concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
  • No longer taking pleasure in things he or she used to enjoy.
  • Sudden loss of interest in friends.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Over or under sleeping.
  • Think about death or suicide a lot.
  • They may complain of headaches or stomach aches.
  • A child may be more anxious or clingy with caregivers.
  • Some teens and children with severe depression can even hallucinate or have delusions.

It’s important to recognise the depression symptoms in children and yourself. Depression Symptoms in children might be a bad mood or negative feelings that have been present all the time.

Here is a list of the types of symptoms you might notice or they might be feeling and describe to you:

Behaviour changes you might notice:

Your child seems:

  • overwhelmed
  • irritable
  • frustrated
  • lacking in confidence
  • indecisive
  • disappointed
  • Your child is not going out anymore
  • Your child is withdrawing from close family
  • Your child gives up activities that they usually enjoy
  • Your child may be relying on alcohol and sedatives to unwind

Teachers may give feedback:

  • that your child is unable to concentrate
  • is not getting things done at work/school
  • is withdrawing from friends
  • is more uncommunicative

They may say they feel:

  • sad all the time
  • miserable
  • guilty
  • useless

They may feel or say they feel:

  • Their Life’s not worth living.
  • Nothing good ever happens to them and no one cares.
  • They’re at fault for unknown reasons.
  • They have failed or are a failure.
  • They are worthless or useless.
  • People would be better off without them around.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Lethargy
  • Run down
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pains or cramps
  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Trouble with concentrating
  • Sleeping problems
  • Change of appetite
  • Weight gain or loss

It ranges from mild to severe and one who feels a bit unhappy most of the time for a year or more may have a milder, ongoing form of depression called dysthymia. In its most severe form, it can cause low esteem and make you feel hopeless with the feeling of no longer wanting to live.

It is treatable and talking to a fully trained psychologist is one of the best options. Help with depression can often start with a visit to a GP who can give them/you a test to help diagnose the problem more accurately. If they have depression they can get a referral to see one of our psychologists and begin the healing process.

Call to book an appointment now (03) 9809 1000

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