It’s common to experience occasional times of sad mood or lower energy. They may occur during normal but unfortunate life circumstances such as the death of someone close, job loss or the end of a relationship. However, if the feelings of sadness persist and stop you from pursuing or enjoying your usual activities, they may be a sign of depression. If you’re having difficulty with persistent low mood, our clinical psychologists in Sydney are here to help you. We have expertise in assessing, diagnosing and helping people in the treatment of depression and other mood difficulties.
Depression (or Major Depressive Disorder) is different from occasional sad mood. In depression, people feel low, sad mood much of the time for at least two weeks. This is accompanied by other symptoms, such as difficulty enjoying usually enjoyable activities, sleeping much more or much less than usual, low energy, teariness, difficulty concentrating, withdrawing from other people, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. Some people with depression may experience all or only some of these symptoms. The low mood in depression is often more severe and prolonged than in usual mood fluctuation. Depression is a serious mental health condition that severely impacts on a person’s quality of life. It can impact relationships, work and physical health. It also increases risk of suicide and physical health conditions. The good news is that helpful effective treatment for depression is available.
Depression in Australia is common. The most recent National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing showed that 15% of Australian adults experience a mood disorder. Depression affects more than 264 million people globally and is a leading cause of global burden of disease (Spencer et al., 2018). So you’re not alone if you’re affected by depression.