Student Life

Counselling and Personal Development



  • Affects one in five people at some stage of their life.   
  • Is more than just a low mood, and can be treated.        

Being depressed is not just about feeling sad, although being sad and teary can be a sign of depression. Depression can often be the lack of feeling, of feeling numb, of being stuck and often not having the words to explain how and why you feel the way you do. Depression can be described from Mild to Severe depending on how long you have been depressed, and the impact it is having on your life.  Clinical depression is 'often caused by a mix of recent events and other longer-term and/or personal risk factors'. (Source: Beyond Blue fact sheet 3)

You are depressed if, for two or more weeks, you have been experiencing some (several) of the following symptoms:

  • low mood for most of the day
  • lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • changes in diet and/or weight
  • a change in sleeping pattern
  • feeling physically restless or slow
  • feeling worthless or guilty
  • poor concentration
  • thoughts of harming yourself

What you can do about it

If you are concerned that you may be depressed, talk to your doctor and/or a counsellor about what you are thinking and feeling. There are many things that have been shown to help people out of their depression, including medicine and counselling, complimentary therapies, and physical activity.

  • A counsellor will assist you find out, and deal with what is causing your depression
  • Anti-depressant medication, whilst not making you ‘happy’, can get you going again
  • Identifying the thoughts and beliefs that bring you down and changing them to be more realistic and helpful to you is a very successful way to overcome your depression
  • For many people, doing a number of things to help them is the most effective

Note: 'It can also be common for people experiencing depression to experience anxiety at the same time'.(Source: Beyond Blue)

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Depression and suicide

Spending long periods of time feeling bad about yourself can be very distressing and hard to live with. When it also feels hopeless, that circumstances will never improve, the prospect of continuing to live as you are can feel intolerable. When living feels intolerable, you may consider harming yourself through suicide. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself, we recommend that you consult with a counsellor or your GP as soon as possible. If you wish to understand more about suicide, more information can be found at the Lifeline website  

Quick tips

  • If you think you are depressed, see a counsellor or a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Do what you can to keep your energy levels up by making an effort to eat well and exercise.
  • Go to bed at night and get out of bed in the morning at the same time each day.
  • Have a look at the Mood Gym and other websites below.

Taking it further

  • Beyond Blue -  Information about depression, and support to get you through it.
  • Depression Net - For information and support. 

Getting help

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13th January 2010