Depression – Are you being affected?

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In light of the recent sad news about Robin Williams, I felt compelled to write a post about how crippling depression can be and how it affects so many people around us.

According to the World Health Organisation, a staggering 350 million people worldwide are affected by depression and in Australia 1 in 6 people suffer with it at some stage in their life. Depression is the leading cause of disability across the globe and the tragic thing is that so many people suffer in silence, going on a very lonely journey by themselves. I always feel so saddened when I hear that somebody has resorted to taking their own life because they simply cannot face to go on – things must have been pretty bad to have even contemplated doing it! The world has lost some great people due to depression and suicide, and I’m not just talking about people in the public eye as there have been so many others who have departed the world long before their time.

There are varying degrees of depression – from feeling slightly blue on a regular basis right through to waking up every day and imaging yourself jumping off a bridge. I can certainly say that there have been times when I have felt very low, unmotivated and generally apathetic about life. However, I have been very lucky to have such great family and friends around me who have been there to pick me up and give me the motivation to keep going. Others may not be so lucky.

So what drives somebody to feel depressed?


It could be anything really… the pressures of life, stress, living up to expectations, a break-up, a job they hate, money worries, death of a loved one, illness, drugs and alcohol, bullying or fear of failure. Some people have a genetic pre-disposition to depression especially if there are any mental health conditions that run in the family. There are also certain people whose personality potentially puts them at risk of experiencing depression such as people to constantly worry, have low self-esteem or are self-critical and sensitive to what others say about them.

Have you been feeling a bit low recently and not quite your usual self?

Here’s a quick self-assessment test you can take to see if you’re experiencing any signs of depression – take the test

If you’re feeling depressed or know someone else that is – here are some tips that you may find useful:

  • Ask for help – whether that be from friends, family, work colleagues or even a support group such as Beyond Blue or Blackdog Institute. Don’t think you need to go it alone, there is always someone you can talk to.
  • Do something that you love and that makes you feel good as this can help increase serotonin levels in the brain.
  • Get back to nature – take a trip somewhere away from the hustle ‘n’ bustle or go for a walk outside so that you can clear your head and feel relaxed.
  • Start exercising – even though sometimes this is the last thing you feel like doing, there have been numerous studies which have shown how exercise is very beneficial for increasing mood and the feel-good factor.
  • Eat foods that contain nutrients that fuel your brain – fresh fruits and veggies, good sources of fats such as avocado, olive oil and nuts/ seeds¬†and protein such lean meats, fish, eggs, beans and legumes.
  • Avoid habits and foods that lower mood such as alcohol, caffeine, drugs, high sugar foods and refined carbohydrates.
  • Reduce stress in your life and try stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.
  • Deal with the issue that is driving your depression – there are numerous techniques to help with this such as counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

I can’t reiterate it enough – if you or someone you know is experiencing ongoing bouts of low mood or signs of depression, please seek help as YOU ARE NOT ALONE and there are things you can do to help reignite the spark within you.

Please share this post with anyone who could be in need of a helping hand.


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Michelle is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist, Reflexologist and Reiki practitioner who is passionate about living a holistic lifestyle and helping others to achieve their health goals. She is also a Jungle Body Dance Fitness Instructor, which not only keeps her fit but also helps her to inspire others to feel confident and get in shape.

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