Depression is common, serious and requires early intervention and support. Many people will feel down at some stage in response to various outside stressors but normally this feeling lessens and life as you know it returns to normal. However, for some people this is not the case, it is not easy facing up to the thought that you or someone close to you may be depressed. The feeling of being down does not lift and normal activities become a struggle. If you or anyone you know feels this way it could be that they have depression. Depression penetrates into and affects personal relationships, one’s ability to parent, one’s ability to be a productive worker. Motivation is lost and the desire to take care of oneself and participate fully in life passes one by.
Depression is not a weakness, in fact it takes strength to reach out and get the help that is needed.
With 1 in 6 New Zealanders having depression the chances are that you or someone you know is struggling along on their own. No one expects you to manage a heart attack on your own and nor should you manage depression on your own. Research tells us that women have higher rates of depression than men (one in five women, compared with one in eight men). We advise that if you have any concerns, seek help, make an appointment to see the family doctor and let them know how you are feeling.
There are many different ways through depression. As many of you will have seen on the TV, John Kirwan, a famous All Black is a public face in helping New Zealanders to manage depression.
For more help and information there are some very good websites you can visit:
- www.Depression.org.nz (self help and management strategies)
- www.thelowdown.co.nz (hear how young kiwis got through depression
- www.aware.ie (support groups, helpline and more)
You do not need to face depression on your own. Early intervention enhances one’s ability to get one’s life back on track, to regain energy and interact more fully with life.