Take action before the blue takes over

When something seems wrong and you feel like the blues are taking over your world, you may be experiencing depression and/or anxiety. Losing your sense of joy, feeling run down and undertaking risky behaviours are all signs the blues may be taking hold of your life. 

beyondblue is here to support and help restore balance. Develop an action plan today. 

1. Know the signs

Your first step in minimising the impact of depression and anxiety should be to educate yourself on what you are experiencing. Anxiety and depression can be different for everybody, so through learning more you can develop the best possible plan to maximise your mental wellbeing.

In educating yourself it is great to consider things like:

  • triggers for symptoms
  • protective factors for mental health
  • knowing the things in life you enjoy
  • learning as much as you can about anxiety and depression.

Take the anxiety and depression checklist 

This simple checklist aims to measure whether you may have been affected by depression and anxiety during the past four weeks. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be experiencing depression and/or anxiety.

Find out about more about anxiety

Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where a person feels under pressure, it usually passes once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.

Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don't subside. Anxiety is when they are ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard for a person to cope with daily life. We all feel anxious from time to time, but for a person experiencing anxiety, these feelings cannot be easily controlled.

The symptoms of anxiety can often develop gradually over time. Given that we all experience some anxiety, it can be hard to know how much is too much, but if it is having a disabling impact you need to be doing something about it. There are many types of anxiety, and there are a range of symptoms for each.

Find out more about depression

While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years). Depression is more than just a low mood – it's a serious condition that has an impact on both physical and mental health.

Depression affects how people feel about themselves. They may lose interest in work, hobbies and doing things they normally enjoy. They may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate. Depression makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.

2. Know the options

There is no one proven way that people recover from anxiety or depression. However, there are a range of effective options to support you on the road to recovery. Many of these things you can do yourself, but as with any health condition the best outcomes are more likely with the input of a health professional.

The important thing is finding the right options and the right health professional your own needs.

If you are sexually active you might be catching up with a doctor or community health nurse every three to six months for a sexual health check anyway, so take an extra few minutes to chat with them if you are feeling lonely, anxious or depressed. They can work with you to the the next steps towards both a healthy mind and a healthy body.

3. Develop an action plan

It can take some time to get everything right. This includes not only the options you’ve discussed with health professionals, but other ways to manage, and live with, the changes and challenges of having depression and/or anxiety.

There are many options for you to get better and stay well, so it is great if you develop an overarching action plan. You might write that down, or you might make a mental note of what to do, but the best thing is to make sure your actions are coordinated to enable you the best possible chance of feeling better.

You might look to include some options for helping beyondblue increase the community’s understanding of anxiety and depression, including:

  • challenging stigmatising attitudes and talking openly about anxiety and depression
  • having a detailed conversation about what you have learned here with a mate who might be having similar experiences
  • joining beyondblue’s online forums and social media platforms so you can inform others on what you have done and how you are staying well.

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