Coping with Depression

In any given year, millions of people in Australia are coping with depression, a mental illness that also adversely affects your physical health. But, similar to a physical illness, there are effective treatments available that you could use. Additionally, depression is not something to be guilty or embarrassed about.  

If you have trouble understanding your feelings and thoughts lately, seek medical and professional support. Do not hesitate to ask for a diagnosis from your GP if you have depression. Seeking help could help you recover quicker, especially if you have other mental or physical conditions.  

What does Depression do to Your Overall Well Being

Depression is among the top medical illnesses that negatively affects a person’s mental health to the point where they become reclusive from society and previously enjoyable activities. One of the most common adverse effects of depression is the increased difficulty in controlling your emotions. 

But aside from your mental health, depression also affects your body’s nervous, digestive, immune, and cardiovascular systems because of the increased levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone. An increased cortisol level in the bloodstream harms your body’s major organs. 

Studies show that depression slows down your reaction time and disrupts your memory. It also affects your digestive system, causing you to experience conditions such as constipation, stomachaches, cramps, or even develop diabetes. You are also at risk for cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure if you do not address depression.

Look Out for These Depression Symptoms

The effects of depression differ for each person, but you might also experience the same feelings as other depressed people. Because of the illness’s broad list of symptoms, some people self-diagnose and often mistake the typical feeling of being sad for a mental illness such as depression. If unsure of your feelings, you should consult your GP immediately. 

Also, you could learn the most common symptoms of depression to equip yourself to address it if your GP diagnoses you with the illness. Additionally, some of these symptoms are chronic, are interlinked with each other, and could worsen if unchecked, so it is best to keep an eye out for these. So, get diagnosed as early as possible to recover quicker. 

Lack of Sleep, Appetite and Energy

When you are depressed, you will experience frequent mood swings, which could affect your ability to sleep at night or decrease your sleep quality. Loss of sleep is among the first symptoms that most depressed people experience. So if you already have problems sleeping for many nights, seek medical help as soon as possible to remedy it. 

Once you lack sleep, this will have a domino effect on your appetite and energy levels. Lack of quality sleep could lead to disorders such as insomnia and make it harder for you to recover from depression. Your appetite will also decrease, causing you to eat less and feel lethargic throughout the day. 

Your activity level will drop as soon as you lack these three, resulting in your motivation level also dropping. So if you want to recover from depression but find it hard to get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise, you should seek medical help to address your sleeping patterns, eating habits, and activity level.

Difficulty Concentrating and Focusing 

Often, depressed people who lack sleep also find it challenging to focus on their work or even on their usual thought processes. Most could not concentrate on the task they set out to do, and they ended up putting it aside while their mind wandered off with other thoughts. Additionally, depressed adults and children suffer from this symptom after a few days without good sleep.

Recurring Thoughts of Self-Harm and Guilt

Overwhelming emotions are often present in people with depression, who may feel guilty or ineffective, even when they put off a simple task. These feelings intensify with every responsibility neglected or any mishap occurring in their lives. That is why if you have depression, you might think that everything is your fault or it is better to give up because everything you do ends up in failure. 

Aside from guilt or self-blame, depression could make people feel hopeless and find everything meaningless. For example, the daily routine you were excited about might turn into a dragging chore as your depression progresses.

Over time, these thoughts and feelings worsen if you try to bottle them up or ignore them, and it is okay to express them. If you do not express these feelings, you might have random outbursts of emotions that might damage your relationships. Additionally, many depressed people contemplate acts of self-harm or suicide, whether alone or with the company. So if you have these thoughts frequently, or you know someone who shares thoughts like this, call 13 11 14  or Triple Zero. 

Loss of Interest in Activities that Give Pleasure 

Due to your influx of negative emotions and thoughts and difficulty keeping up with your routine, you will have a low mood almost daily. As a result, pleasurable activities that release endorphins to the body, such as exercising, sexual intercourse, or having showers, could become difficult for you to enjoy when you are depressed. 

Sudden Instances of Back Pain or Severe Headaches

Body aches are like warning signs that you should not ignore. These are your body’s way of telling you that it is nearing its limit and you must take a rest. So if you are experiencing all of the symptoms above, it will only be a matter of time before you feel your body telling you that there is something wrong. 

Available Resources to Help You Cope with Depression

Like all good things, recovering from depression will take time, but you must trust yourself and believe your recovery journey will be worth it.

Additionally, coping with depression could be done with others; you do not have to deal with it alone. Here are some of the resources you could explore to help you recover. 

Medical Consultations 

Since depression is a medical illness, only a medical professional should give you a credible diagnosis. Consulting a medical professional is often the first step to recovery for some depressed people because this is when they acknowledge that their symptoms or their doubts about their mental health are confirmed. 

However, many people are scared to seek medical help for their depression because they fear that they will only be fed drugs that numb them. Aside from this fear, people do not want to come out as weak for being unable to control their thoughts and emotions. If you are among these people, you could try an anonymous medical consultation in an environment that feels safe and convenient for you. 

Therapy Sessions 

Some people with mild depression symptoms prefer sessions with a therapist that could help them manage depression symptoms, such as their recurring negative thoughts or overwhelming emotions. Therapy sessions are generally confidential, and whatever you share stays between you and your therapist, creating a trusting bond between you two. 

These sessions are not limited to your usual “sit-down” talks about your day. Sometimes they could be in the form of counselling or life-coaching. Additionally, psychological therapy often revolves around different psychoanalysis to assess and help you understand yourself better and, in turn, help you recover from depression. 

Support Groups 

If you prefer to recover with people you deeply trust, you could also do so with support groups. Medical professionals and therapists often brief these groups on their role towards your recovery. You could even be among a support group of people who have become better at managing their depression. 

Sometimes, you could select who will be part of your support group since they are often from your most intimate circles. Emotional support from friends, family members, or intimate relationships could help you recover quicker. 

How to Recognize the Depression Treatment That’s Right for You 

Treating depression is not always involving pills and potions. Some people turn to psychologists, therapists, fitness coaches, or life coaches. Generally, the GP who diagnosed you would also be the one recommending the treatment you could undergo. If you are unsure whether your treatment is working, you could consult with your GP or try looking for these signs. 

Daily Tasks Become Easier

Most of the time, depressed people find it hard to get ready for the day and show up to work or school. But if you have been undergoing treatment for some time and slowly find your rhythm or routine, then you might have found the proper treatment. 

Your Symptoms are Improving

Even though you read, research, and experience the symptoms, you should always check with your GP on your agreed schedules for a regular check-up with your illness. Once your GP assesses that your symptoms are not worsening and your overall well-being is improving, treatment is working. 

You’re not Alone, and We’re Here to Help

Depression symptoms could flare up whenever there are life-changing events such as the pandemic. If you are feeling the symptoms and find it difficult to go to work or perform your daily tasks, call triple zero, or go to your nearest emergency department. 

One of the ways to cope with depression is to take a break. When you need it, you can get a valid medical certificate from Click Clinic. Further, if you need a longer break, you can get our multiple day medical certificate without additional charge.


ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 27—Information-Sheets/Depression-Information-Sheet—04—Vicious-Cycle-for-Depression.pdf