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Finding help

!! If you are feeling suicidal

If you are feeling suicidal there are people who can help. If you live in Australia, you should immediately call Emergency 000 or Lifeline 13 11 14 and tell the person answering your call that you are thinking about suicide. There are lots of trained people who can help you get through these feelings.

What can you do if you think you may be depressed?

If you think you may be depressed it is important to consult your GP or a mental health professional about the problem. Its important to obtain a proper diagnosis and, if you do have depression, there are treatments that can help.

Finding it difficult to reach out for help?

Many people avoid seeking help for depression. You may be feeling like this. Perhaps your depression is making you feel withdrawn and unable to cope with talking to a doctor? Perhaps you think that you should be able to cope with your problems by yourself? You might even think that you are not suffering from a real illness.

Sometimes people with depression believe their doctor will dismiss their concerns or think less of them if they talk about their problems. When they finally do seek help, they are often surprised at how supportive and understanding their doctor is.

Anyone can become depressed and doctors know that it is just as important to treat depression as to treat a physical illness. If your doctor is not helpful, or if you know that your doctor is not the sort of person you can approach about your problem, make an appointment with someone else (see General Practitioners).

Finding the right help can make all the difference to your life.

Still not convinced?

Well, just consider this. Panels of experts have found that moderate depression disrupts a person’s life as much as multiple sclerosis, severe asthma or deafness. Imagine not seeking help for these illnesses just because you didn’t want to bother the doctor!

Some facts

  • Official statistics show that depression is the biggest source of disability in Australia (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)
  • The Australian government has recognised depression as a National Health Priority area
  • Depression is a serious, disabling illness

Who can help?

There are people and groups who can help by correctly diagnosing the problem, by providing or helping you to find the right treatments, or by providing support.

General Practitioners (GPs)
Counsellors, Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists
Psychiatrists
Helplines
Support/self help groups