What is Depression?
"Depression is a common experience. We have all felt 'depressed' about a friend's cold shoulder, misunderstandings in our marriage, tussles with teenage children - sometimes we feel 'down' for no reason at all.
However, depression can become an illness when:
- The mood state is severe
- It lasts for 2 weeks or more and
- It interferes with our ability to function at home or at work
Signs of a depressed mood include:
- Lowered self-esteem (or self-worth).
- Change in sleep patterns, that is, insomnia or broken sleep.
- Changes in appetite or weight.
- Less ability to control emotions such as pessimism, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety.
- Varying emotions throughout the day, for example, feeling worse in the morning and better as the day progresses.
- Reduced capacity to experience pleasure: you can't enjoy what's happening now, nor look forward to anything with pleasure. Hobbies and interests drop off.
- Reduced pain tolerance: you are less able to tolerate aches and pains and may have a host of new ailments.
- Changed sex drive: absent or reduced.
- Poor concentration and memory: some people are so impaired that they think that they are going demented.
- Reduced motivation: it doesn't seem worth the effort to do anything, things seem meaningless.
- Lowered energy levels.
If you have such feelings and they persist for most of every day for two weeks or longer, and interfere with your ability to manage at home and at work, then you might benefit from getting an assessment by a skilled professional.
Having one or other of these features, by themselves, is unlikely to indicate depression, however there could be other causes which may warrant medical assessment."
Source and for more information on depression, please visit The Black Dog Institute website.
Also hear Professor Gordon Parker speak on depression: The Black Dog Institute.
The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and Bipolar Disorder.
The Black Dog Institute website is a comprehensive, informative resource for information on the nature of depression and about help available.
Are you depressed? Try this quizz
"This quiz is based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, a questionnaire developed in the 1970s to detect major or clinical depression. The questions are easy to answer and cover most of the areas included in the diagnostic criteria for depression.
Almost 85 per cent of those found to have depression after an in-depth structured interview with a psychiatrist will have a high score on the CES-Depression Scale. On the other hand, about 20 per cent of those who score high on the scale will have their symptoms resolve quickly and not turn out to have major or clinical depression.
You should not take your quiz score to represent a mental disorder diagnosis. Always consult with a trained mental health professional if you are experiencing depressive feelings or difficulties in your daily life that cause you anxiety or worry. A full physical examination is necessary to rule out physical disorders presenting as mental disorders."
Radloff LS, The CES-D scale: a self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement Vol 1, pp 385-401, 1977.
Take quizz at ABC Health and Wellbeing.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Mood Disorders
ABC Health Report, 28 August 2006
"Some studies suggest that a deficit in omega-3 fatty acids is a contributing factor to mood disorders".
"A paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry from Gordon Parker, Neville Gibson and other colleagues at the School of Psychiatry and Black Dog Institute at the University of NSW argues that diet and lack of omega-3 fatty acids typically found in seafood play a strong role in mood disorders."
Professor Gordon Parker says, "We think so, maybe one of the very important factors causing certain mood disorders. Secondly it appears a fairly safe treatment, particularly where we do have worries about anti-depressants such as adolescence and also women with peri-natal disorders."
Full interview between Norman Swan and Professor Gordon Parker
Video Game Playing and Adolescent Depression
Tortolero Susan R., Peskin Melissa F., Baumler Elizabeth R., Cuccaro Paula M., Elliott Marc N., Davies Susan L., Lewis Terri H., Banspach Stephen W., Kanouse David E., and Schuster Mark A.. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. September 2014, 17(9): 609-615. doi:10.1089/cyber.2014.0091.
Published in Volume: 17 Issue 9: September 11, 2014
How can counselling help you if you are suffering from depression?
Christine Bennett and Emily Dylan offer help through counselling and psychotherapy for people suffering from depression and low self esteem. Christine finds that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Ericksonian Hypnosis and lifestyle education can make a significant difference to improve mood. Emily utilizes a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach and Positive Psychology techniques.