Depression is like being obscured by a dense haze, where even the simplest tasks feel daunting. Imagine you are at a party, and everyone is having a great time. But instead of joining in, you are stuck in a corner feeling like you are not a part of the party. You are putting on a facade of happiness, but it’s like being emotionally muted. Everything feels dull, like watching a black-and-white movie in a world of bright colours. It’s a constant battle against profound feelings of desolation and despair. According to a survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 20% of people aged 16-85 years' experience a mental disorder at some point in their life. Yet, in this struggle lies resilience— an unwavering quest to find clarity amidst haze. It is a journey through darkness that reminds us that there is still hope. Emerging from depression is evidence of the human spirit’s capability for growth and rejuvenation, reminding us of our inner strength and the radiance of the brightness that awaits beyond the shadows.

Symptoms of depression

Depression, a chronic mental health illness affecting millions worldwide can manifest in various ways. Here are a few common symptoms:
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Frequent thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Irritable mood
  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches or muscle tension
  •  Anxiety or nervousness 

1. Depression symptoms in children and teens

Depression manifestations in children and teens resemble those in adults, but there can be some differences:
  • In toddlers' symptoms of depression may include sadness, tearfulness, clinging behaviour, irritability, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or changes in appetite.
  • In teenagers, symptoms may include anger, sadness, irritability, feeling worthless, increased sensitivity, loss of interest in studies or hobbies, poor attendance at school, changes in sleep patterns, changes in appetite, avoidance of social interactions, or self-harm.

2. Depression symptoms in older adults

Depression in older adults presents unusual difficulties due to factors such as physical health problems or social isolation. Frequently disregarded, or ignored as a normal part of aging, depression can have severe consequences if left untreated. Here are a few symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Emotional shifts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Neglecting self-care
  • Suicidal or self-harm thoughts

When to seek help?

 If you're experiencing symptoms of depression that interfere with your everyday life, relationships, job, or education, it's a good idea to get professional treatment. You must seek treatment right away if you're thinking about harming yourself or ending your life. Additional indicators that it's time to get mental health treatment include dealing with depression symptoms for longer than a few weeks or if you're finding it difficult to manage your symptoms on your own. Speaking with a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, therapist, or counsellor, can help you manage your depression and enhance your quality of life by offering support, direction, and treatment alternatives. Understanding that depression is a curable illness and that getting assistance is a courageous and crucial first step toward feeling better is crucial.

Resources and support

Here are several resources that may assist you while you or your loved ones are battling depression. 
  • You may visit the Carer Gateway if you require advice on how to take care of yourself or others dealing with depression. You may contact them on 1800 422 737.
There are crisis lines available if you or someone you know may be having suicidal thoughts. You may contact: So, what does depression feel like? Well, depression is a mental health condition that can impact every aspect of a person’s life. Seeking support and guidance is important as recovery from depression often requires therapeutic assistance and nurturing friends and family. With treatment and support, it is possible to fight depression and reclaim a sense of hope and wellness.  

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This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.