Depression: More Than Just a Low Mood?
Mental health disorders affect half the total population at some stage of their life. In particular, depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental health disorders experienced by Australians, with one in five people diagnosed with depression specifically.
Depression is more than just low mood, it’s a serious illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health. Often people who are suffering from depression, lose interest in work and hobbies and generally find it difficult to manage from day to day.
There is no one cause of depression, as it varies from person to person. However there is evidence to suggest that it may be caused by changes in the levels and activities of chemicals in the brain, which can result from changes in behaviour. For example, long term stress may cause changes in the brain and result in depression.
Dr Graham Wong of Epworth Clinic encourages people to speak to friends and family or their local GP to discuss problems they may be experiencing. Help is readily available for those suffering from mental health related illnesses.
Some tips Epworth Clinic recommend for naturally dealing with depression:
- Ensure you are getting enough sleep to recharge your batteries
- Get regular exercise. This helps to release endorphins into the body and boost moods. Exercising assists in reducing symptoms of depression and levels of cortisol
- Eat a well balanced diet and try to reduce your intake of caffeine, sugar and alcohol which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and mood
- Rediscover something you’re passionate about
- Reach out and talk to family or friends. It’s important to share your issues and problems with others and seek advice or assistance
Patients can access inpatient and outpatient services, with the appropriateness of programs assessed by an intake coordinator at the particular clinic.
Epworth Clinic, located in Camberwell, is a mental health unit that specialises in helping patients to improve their mental wellbeing as soon as possible through focusing on community treatment and skill building. They treat a range of mental health conditions and are fast developing further treatment options as their facilities grow.
With the rates of mental illness on the rise in Australia, particularly in young people, we decided to open up the can of worms and speak to clinical psychologist, Hannah Hawkes, about the elephant in the room.
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