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Depression is more than just a low mood and feeling blue now and then. Depression is a serious condition that affects physical and mental health. Most people may feel sad, moody or low sometimes but some people experience these feelings intensely, for most of the day, for more than two weeks and even months or years, and sometimes without any apparent reason. When depression persists, it is common to experience suicidal thoughts. If you are experiencing thoughts about ending your life, and think you will do it, then tell someone you know or call 000 or Mental Health Intake 1800 011 511 or Lifeline 131 114 now!
What are the symptoms
Sad or no joy?
You may be depressed if you have have felt sad, down, miserable or have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities most of the time for more than two weeks and have also experienced several of the signs and symptoms across at least three of the categories mentioned below.
Not going out anymore
Not getting things done at work/school
Withdrawing from close family and friends
Relying on alcohol and sedatives
Not doing usual enjoyable activities
Unable to concentrate
Lacking in confidence
"I’m a failure"
"It’s my fault"
"Nothing good ever happens to me"
"Life’s not worth living"
"People would be better off without me"
Tired all the time
Sick and run down
Headaches and muscle pains
Loss or change of appetite
Significant weight loss
facts about suicide
Did you know...
8.3 deaths in 2015 were from suicide (HIMH, 2015).
Suicide risk is rarely assessed (World Health Organisation, 2014)
There is one death from suicide every 40 seconds (World Health Organisation, 2014) and suicide attempts are 10 to 20 times higher (ASSIP, Michel, 2015).
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with around 3,000 people dying by suicide every year.
For every suicide, there are tragic ripple effects for friends, families and colleagues.
what are the warning signs
Look out for the signs
A sense of hopelessness or no hope for the future.
Isolation or feeling alone – “No one understands me”.
Aggressiveness and irritability – “Leave me alone”.
Possessing lethal means – medication, weapons.
Negative view of self – “I am worthless”.
Drastic changes in mood and behaviour.
Frequently talking about death – “If I died would you miss me?”.
Self-harming behaviours like cutting.
Engaging in 'risky' behaviours – “I’ll try anything, I’m not afraid to die".
Making funeral arrangements.
Giving things away (clothes, expensive gifts) – “When I am gone, I want you to have this”.
Feeling like a burden to others – “You would be better off without me”.
Making suicide threats – “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die”.
Keep an eye out for...
It is common to feel scared if you experience suicidal thoughts. You may have never had them before, or else you may have been experiencing them for a while and do not know how to make them stop. Some people feel too ashamed to talk about their suicidal thoughts or else worry that they will be judged negatively or not taken seriously.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, let someone you trust know how you are feeling, such as a family member, friend or doctor. It is important to find someone who makes you feel safe to talk about how you are feeling without the fear of being judged, as this can really help. Keep talking so that they understand how you feel and ask them to get you some support. Describe what has happened and what is happening inside your mind and body, as best as you can and describe what images are in your mind or what your mind is telling you to do. If they dismiss you, then find someone else or call Lifeline on 131 114. The most important thing is that you tell someone that you are feeling this way, even if you think you may not go through with it.
If you are concerned that someone you know may be experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings, tell them that you are worried about them and ask them to talk to you about how they are feeling. Try to connect with them and show them that they are not alone and you care, as that can make a huge difference in their life. Tell them you want them to get help and will go with them if they wish.
Some effective psychological treatments for depression include:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
Behavioural Activation Therapy (BAT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Want to know more?
Explore more help
Useful crisis numbers:
Lifeline - 131 114
Mental Health Intake Line - 1800 011 511
Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Services (24/7) - 1800 011 046
Beyond Blue Support Service - 1300 22 4636