Depression

We all feel sad, moody or low sometimes, it’s a normal part of life. If these feelings come and stay for more than 2 weeks it might be a sign that you have depression.

Depression affects 1 in 7 people in Australia. It's a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.

It’s important to know that it is treatable and it’s worth reaching out and talking to someone about it.

Woman struggling through the rain

What is depression?

Depression affects how you feel about yourself. It can make life more difficult to manage from day to day.

You might lose interest in things you usually enjoy. You may lack energy, have trouble sleeping or sleep more than usual.

Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate.  

Symptoms of depression

Everyone experiences depression differently.

Common signs and symptoms of depression can include:

  • withdrawing from friends and family
  • trouble concentrating
  • feeling overwhelmed, empty or numb
  • thinking nothing ever good happens
  • being constantly tired

Learn more: Signs and symptoms of depression

Suicidal thoughts

Sometimes people who are experiencing depression may also experience suicidal thoughts. To learn more visit Suicidal warning signs.

Types of depression

There are several types of depression. Each type has different symptoms and is treated differently.

Common types of depression include major depression (including postnatal depression), bipolar disorder and persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia).

Learn more: Types of depression

Causes of depression

We don’t know exactly what causes depression. However, we do know there are a number of things linked to its development.

Depression usually develops because of a combination of life events, personal factors and changes in the brain. It doesn’t usually develop because of one issue or event.

Learn more: Causes of depression

Do I have depression?

It can be hard to know whether you’re feeling depressed or have depression.

Our anonymous mental health check-in can help you understand whether your symptoms are likely to go away on their own, or whether it’s time to get more support to help you feel better.

It’s an evidence-based tool which asks you 10 questions about the feelings you’ve been having over the past 4 weeks. It’s sometimes called the “K10” and is widely used by GPs and mental health professionals.

Mental health check-in

Treatments and other support for depression

There are many different approaches to treating depression. These include medications, therapy (such as cognitive behaviour therapy) and lifestyle changes.

We’ve got resources to help you if you’re feeling miserable, have been diagnosed with depression or are supporting someone with depression.

Treatments for depression

Depression is unlikely to go away on its own.

Finding the right treatment and support can help you learn how to manage your depression and start to feel better.

Learn more: Treatments for depression

Finding mental health support

Your GP can be a good place to start the conversation about your mental health.

We can also help you find other support that’s right for you. This could include talking to our counsellors or helping you find a mental health professional near you.

Get mental health support

Connect with our online peer support community

Anonymously read, share and learn from people who are also living with anxiety.

The Beyond Blue Forums is a welcoming peer support community. Posts are moderated by qualified counsellors.

Visit the Beyond Blue Forum depression discussions

Supporting someone else

If you’re worried about someone close to you, there are things you can do to support them.

Journey to recovery - personal stories

If you have depression, you’re not alone.

Learn what depression feels like and how it can be managed. 

Read and watch more personal stories about depression

“I gave up on talking” – Daniel’s experience of living with a stutter and depression

After bullying saw him spend a year refusing to talk, Daniel had to learn to find his voice again.

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It's taken most of my life to learn I am worthy of living

Emily shares her journey of depression, anxiety and ultimately, hope.

Read more