First Name*

Last Name*



Appointment Time*


Please Call To Confirm








We'll even come to you

Sad or Depressed? Do you know the difference?

We are human, and it's perfectly normal not to feel happy, motivated or be bursting with happiness all the time. Sometimes I feel sad because it has been raining for a few days and I haven't seen a blue sky or the sun. I start feeling less energetic, irritable and less motivated, even doing tasks that I usually enjoy start feeling like a chore. But by now I know what is causing this change of mood, and I know that this feeling will pass and I that I will be back to my usual self in no time!

Sadness is usually caused by something; there is a reason for it. The sense of sadness can be triggered by a hurtful, disappointing or challenging event and as we adjust or get over the loss/disappointment, the sadness leaves us.

Depression, on the other hand, is a mental illness that affects the way we feel, perceive things, behave and the way we think in a pervasive and chronic way. When we are depressed, it's not one thing that we feel sad about it's everything! There may not even be a trigger that causes the depression, and often we may not even be aware that we are experiencing a depression rather than just a mood swing.

Over the past few years, I have noticed a push for growing awareness and education on the topic of depression. I have been advised about free phone counselling sessions when commencing my employment, seen posters on buses and the back of toilet doors, often featuring a catchy slogan followed by a web address and free helpline number.

But what if we know all this but don't realise that we are suffering from an illness?  Depression is very deceptive as a lot of its true symptoms can be related to other life circumstances. Beyondblue offers an easy online checklist type test that is quick and easy to complete. You can find that here 
They distinguish the symptoms by four different areas as outlined below. It is important to note that not everyone will experience all of these symptoms.

Behaviour Thoughts
Not going out anymore ' I'm a failure '
Not getting things done at work/school ' It's my fault '
Withdrawing from close family and friends ' Nothing good every happens to me '
Relying on alcohol and sedatives ' I'm worthless '
Not doing usual enjoyable activities ' Life's not worth living '
Unable to concentrate ' People would be better off without me '
Feelings Physical
Overwhelmed Tired all the time
Guilty Sick and run down
Irritable Headaches and muscle pains
Frustrated Churning gut
Lacking in confidence Sleep problems
Unhappy Loss or change of appetite
Indecisive Significant weight loss or gain

There are many different types of depressions and other disorders that may have similar symptoms to depression. Depression also impacts older people in other ways than younger people.

Depression in seniors can be very dangerous and even increase the risk of cardiac diseases. Further depression reduces an elderly person's ability to heal and rehabilitate, increasing the risk of death from an illness.

Statistics also show that while depression, in general, increases the risk of suicide for obvious reasons, it is interesting to note that this is most so for elderly white men. The suicide rate in people aged between 80 and 84 is more than twice as high as the rate of the general populations.

If you think you, a friend or family member may suffer from depression, it is important to seek out a trained mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. Depression is extremely common, it is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, however just like with any illness, we need to treat it to make it better.


<< Back to Blogs