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What is Depression?

Been feeling down or moody?

If you’ve been feeling this way for a while, and you’re finding that things that you’d usually like aren’t making you happy either, you might be dealing with depression.

Depression is something to take seriously- but it can be easy to think that things will get better on their own or that your mood will change.

The best thing to do is take yourself off for a chat with your GP, who will be able to help you get a better understanding of what might be going on. Remember, it’s really important not to think of depression as just something that happens in your mind. It affects your physical health too, and it will start to affect those around you too.

Before you see your GP, have a think about how long things might have been going on for. Two weeks? Or maybe longer? Try to get a handle on this, as it’s important to know.

Other things you should have a think about:

Are you going out to see mates very much? Do you enjoy it when you do?

Do you drink as much as usual? If your drink intake is creeping up, that’s something to tell your GP.

How’s your sleeping? If you’re waking up a lot or feeling tired all the time, be sure to mention it.

Is your appetite normal? If you’re not hungry and not keen on eating, yep, chat about it.

When you’re at work, do you feel confident and okay to do your job?

Are you finding it easy to take care of yourself? Or is it just feeling like one more thing to get done at the moment.

Of course, depression is a tricky thing, and you may identify with all or none of these questions. Some people with depression just find that things are a bit off, and that’s what tips them off. Either way, it’s important to take that next step and seek help.

If you do find that you’re dealing with depression, know that you’re not alone. Over 1 million adults in Australia experience depression each year and it’s estimated that one in eight men will experience depression at some point.

There are lots of ways to tackle treating depression- and just by seeing the GP you will have taken a massive step towards getting things sorted.

It’s important to be really open with your doctor, and let them know where you’re at. They need to know about what’s going on in your life and that includes what’s up at home and ways that you’re exploring your sexuality.

Want to read more before you chat to your GP? The guys at beyondblue have put together a simple checklist to help give you an idea of where you’re at. Remember, you can always call the beyondblue Support Service 1300 22 4636.