Managing Depression

 

 

 

Depression is a very serious illness affecting 1 in 5 Australians throughout their lifetime. It is very likely that either you yourself, family members or close friends will experience an episode of depression throughout your life.

 

Unfortunately, a lot of stigma and misconceptions still exist around mental health issues. Depression can be severely debilitating, and at its extremes can be life threatening.

 

One of the most important aspects of treating depression is recognising early signs and making early interventions. You can help loved ones who are suffering by encouraging them to reach out to one of the many mental health services available.

 

Anxiety is closely associated with depression, and can be equally as debilitating and difficult to initiate treatment for. It too can be managed, and is best managed with assistance and support, and early intervention.

 

Depression and anxiety can, in their most extreme, be life threatening. Unfortunately, risk of suicide is higher in rural areas. National suicide rates among young males has been declining, except in rural and remote areas. There exists a long established link between farmers and higher suicide rates.

 

A number of factors increase the risk of suicide for those living in the bush.

 

Remoteness and reduced access to help: Living further from major health centres can deter some people from seeking help. In Blackbutt, there are psychologists who visit our practice. Our GPs are also happy to talk to you about any mental health concerns you might have. There are many mental health professionals available to you in the South Burnett. We are also able to connect you to distant psychologists using teleconferencing technology.

 

Isolation: Isolation can be a significant factor in both the development of depression, and the consequences of it. Lack of social contact is a risk factor for depression, and the ease in which a quiet, hidden area can be found increases the risk of suicide.

 

Bush attitudes towards mental health: Another factor is the prevailing attitude in the bush that depression might be a sign of weakness, and the reluctance to talk about one's concerns. This falls in line with the characteristic view of the rural Australian man, summed up in the words of iconic Australian poet Henry Lawson

 

They toiled and they fought through the shame of it -
Through wilderness, flood, and drought…
…The miseries suffered, unvoiced, unknown -
And that’s how the land was won.

 

The problem for many is not that they never seek help. It is often that they didn't seek help early enough, that they didn't persist with it, or that they didn't seek the right kind of help.  

 

Fighting the stigmas of mental health can be as simple as bringing the world of mental illness in line with the perceptions we have of other illnesses. Not many people consider it a sign of weakness to be affected and seek medical treatment for diabetes, so why should depression, a disease of the mind, be viewed any differently?

 

Are you depressed? 

 

Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute are two Australian organisations that are working to help manage depression in Australia. Both of these organisations have quick online tests which you can take to see whether you are likely to be suffering from depression and/or anxiety. It only takes a minute or so and the tests are anonymous. Please access the tests via the following links:

Our GPs can perform a mental health assessment for you, and can link you with psychologists for further assessment.

 

Getting help: 

 

If you are feeling depressed, help is available:

  • Talk to a doctor (see Blackbutt Health Professionals);
  • Get help from a support organisation – a list is below;
  • Consider speaking to a friend or family member about how you are feeling;
  • In an emergency, dial 000. 

 

Support Organisations: 

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Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression in Australia. Their website contains a wealth of information about depression. For support, call Beyond Blue 24/7 to speak to a trained mental health professional or visit www.beyondblue.org.au to chat with them online (4pm-10pm AEST only). They also provide a 24-hour email response service.

Phone: 1300-22-4636
Website: www.beyondblue.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service

Support if you, or someone you know, is feeling suicidal. Phone counselling is available 24/7. Online web chat is also available – please visit their website for more details and access to this service.

Phone: 1300-659-467
Web: www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Their website contains concise information about depression, bipolar disorder, and how to get help.

Website: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

Lifeline

Lifeline provide support and advice in a personal crisis. Phone counselling is available 24/7. Online web chat is also available 7 days a week from 8pm to 4am AEST.

Phone: 131-144
Web: www.lifeline.org.au

Kids Helpline

With the motto: We care and we listen, any time for any reason, Kids Helpline is a 24 hour, free and confidential telephone and email counselling service for 5 to 18 year olds in Australia. The site also provides information for young people and parents. Email and web text chat counselling is also available.

Phone: 1800-55-1800
Web: www.kidshelp.com.au

headSpace

headSpace is funded by the Australian Government and they help 12-25 year olds who are going through a rough time. headSpace operate 55 centres throughout Australia where young people can go to get health advice, support and information. The nearest centres to Beaudesert are Ipswich and Inala. Please check the website for your closest centre (links below) to get more information about their services and to view their contact details.

Inala: www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/headspace-inala
Ipswich: www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/headspace-ipswich

Treatments:

 

Effective treatments are available for depression and include:

  • Medical interventions: one of the mainstays of treatment is medication (especially anti-depressants). Medications may not be used in everyone, and don't have to be lifelong. Side effects are always explained before starting any medication. When used, medications are usually used in conjunction with psychological interventions. In severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy may also be helpful.
  • Psychological interventions: these usually involve treatment by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Treatments used by these professionals include cognitive and behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, counselling and other strategies.

Not all depression is the same. Treatment has to be tailor-made on an individual basis. This usually means some combination of the two broad branches of treatment listed above.

 

It is important to pay attention to lifestyle factors too, because a healthy diet and regular exercise can both help to improve your depression.  

 

Speak to your doctor about what might work best for you.

 

Clinic Info

91 Coulson St,

Blackbutt QLD 4306

 

Tel: 4163 0023

(All Hours)

Fax: 4163 0024

 

Email: tmc.2006

@bigpond.com 

 

Clinic Hours:

 

Mon - Fri: 8:00am-5:00pm 

Sat by appointment 

Sun closed

  

 

Contact us

Address: 91 Coulson Street, Blackbutt, QLD, 4306

Phone: 4163 0023

Email: tmc.2006@bigpond.com

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