If it’s not treated, depression can lead to you underachieving at study or work, losing contact with friends and family, substance misuse, and an increased risk of suicide. Explore this section to find out about depression and tips on managing it.

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Young people share the good and bad stuff to say to a friend that you're worried about.

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  • Upload Date: 2015-01-20

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What defines beauty + my story

It's a word we use almost every day to compare ourselves to others, judge others and to make a choice over which product to try based on its better-looking packaging. However, not one of us knows exactly what 'beauty' or 'being beautiful' is. Why then do we aim to be something we do not know?

Body Image has a top concern for young people today, but is also one that has been virtually ignored by the media and fashion industry that has created a world obsessed with the ideology of beauty.

Photo shopped images of tall, stick thin but yet curvy models has given society a warped indication of beauty with various unhealthy diets to lose weight and obtain the virtually impossible airbrushed look. Excessive behaviour leading to illnesses such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa has been strongly related to the pressure to look perfect.

This has led to a beauty fascist society where those who look 'different' and 'uglier' than the norm are subject to discrimination and social stigma. Yet the people with physical disabilities and/or disfigurements seem to be those who are mentally, the strongest and most comfortable in their own skin, Joanne Hutchins for example, accomplished writer and ambassador for Don't DIS my ABILITY. With so much prejudice against their appearance, they admirably still manage to live life to its fullest, enjoy a healthy mind and feel beautiful.

After previously struggling with my own body related self-esteem issues, including an attempt to starve myself, I understand what it feels like to feel body-conscious. Here are a few tips to help you treasure yourself with a healthier body and mind:

Read the rest if this inspiring blog here

  • Author: Lily
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Written by Lily


Provided by headspace

We have partnered with headspace to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. headspace is Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation. headspace provides health advice, support and information for young people aged 12-25.

depression symptoms

Depression is common. Among young Australians aged 12-25 years, depression is the most common mental health problem (1). Around 1 in 4 young people will have had a depressive disorder by the end of their adolescence (2). It’s important that you get support if you think you might be depressed. The consequences of untreated depression can often be quite serious and can include under-performing at school and/or work, losing friends and family supports, substance abuse and risk of suicide.

what are normal feelings and what’s depression?

dpression symptoms

How can depression symptoms be managed. Image Credit: zoefavole | Flickr

We all feel down or sad from time to time - it’s part of being human. Sadness is a reaction to something in particular, like a relationship break-up. Depression means that feelings of sadness last longer than normal, affect most parts of your life, and stop you enjoying the things that you used to.

types of depression

major depression

Major depression is the mood disorder people are most familiar with. Major depression usually happens in episodes. A depressive episode tends to build up slowly over a couple of weeks or more.

Young people often experience depression in the same way adults do with the exception that they may have more mood swings or be more irritable and sensitive than usual. This can make major depression difficult to diagnose, being mistaken for normal adolescent moods.

In major depression, symptoms in a young person include:

  • Higher body temperature
  • Feelings of unhappiness, moodiness and irritability, and sometimes emptiness or numbness
  • Losing interest and pleasure in activities that you once enjoyed
  • Loss of appetite and weight (but sometimes people ‘comfort eat’ and put on weight)
  • Either trouble sleeping, or over-sleeping and staying in bed most of the day
  • Tiredness, lack of energy and motivation
  • Feeling worried or tense
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Feeling bad, worthless or guilty
  • Being self-critical and self-blaming
  • Having dark and gloomy thoughts, including thoughts of death or suicide.

If you are feeling depressed, it is important to talk to someone that you trust and get support.


Dysthymia is a milder type of depression but it is often continuous and can last for months or years. People with dysthymia might still be able to perform their day-to-day tasks, but with less interest, confidence and enjoyment. Dysthymia also interferes with sleep, appetite, energy and concentration.

Compared to major depression, dysthymia has fewer physical symptoms but can have more emotional symptoms such as gloomy and dark thoughts. Dysthymia, like major depression still requires support, counselling and sometimes medication.

bipolar disorder

Depression can also occur as part of bipolar disorder. Check out our section on bipolar disorder for more information.

other problems

Sometimes young people with a depressive disorder may have other mental or physical health problems. For instance, some people with depression may also suffer from anxiety problems (i.e. excessive worry), or have a drug use problem (cigarettes/alcohol/illegal drugs).

depression and suicide

Depression symptomsSuicidal thoughts are common amongst young people with depression, so those who appear to be at risk of self-harm or suicide need immediate assistance. Serious concerns should lead to getting the support of close, trusted friends or family, removing all available things that can be used to suicide (e.g. tablets, firearms) and a thorough mental health assessment by a trained professional.

You can call your local hospital or local mental health service for support. There are 24-hour mental health teams that can respond to people who are suicidal at any time of the day. Check out our section on suicide for further information.

getting help for depression

It’s important to talk about your problems. Seek help and talk to someone you trust such as a parent, teacher or school counsellor, family member or friend. Your local doctor or GP is usually very experienced in knowing what is and isn’t depression, so seek help from them.

Most people recover from depression after seeking professional help. Counselling has proven effective in the treatment of depression, especially Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is based on the idea that feelings/emotions and thoughts are related and it explores how thinking patterns can affect our emotions, such as fear, in a negative and positive way. For some young people with severe depression that doesn’t improve with counselling or CBT, medication might also be an option. Check out our section on Managing Depression for further information.

Eating healthily and exercising can not only keep you fit but can also help your mood. Practicing relaxation, writing your feelings down, reducing stress and avoiding alcohol and other drugs can also help, but remember, some days may be good and other days not as good. Overcoming depression can take time.

For more information on how to get help, check out headspace's getting help section. Also check out the fantastic blog series called managing my depression written by our Youth Content Producer Bethwyn.


(1) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Young Australians: their health and wellbeing, Canberra, 2007

(2). Oakley Browne M, Wells J, Scott K, McGee M (2006). Lifetime prevalence and projected lifetime risk of DSM-IV disorders in Te Rau Hinengaro: the New Zealand Mental health Survey (NZMHS). Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry; 40: 865-874.

This information was produced by headspace in conjunction with ORYGEN Youth Health.

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Tell us how you have positively managed this topic and help others find their way through...

12 Responses to “Depression”

  1. rick says:

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post

  2. lynz says:

    Thanks Rick, glad the site interested you you, thanks for positive feedback. TINO Crew

  3. Natasha says:

    Thank you for this information it has helped me for my Physical Assessment for school. This is really helpful and how would you help a family member like my brother he is constantly depressed and he loves playing soccer but even that won’t help anymore can you give me some tips to make him feel like he is around and not left out.


  4. TaniaDepp says:

    Do not be ashamed to question for help, contrary to how some people truly feel, it is not a indication of a weakness, you are planning produced, you are shedding the plot, no one is likely to giggle at you and there is most absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. It is a organic health issues just the identical as Flu, Pneumonia, toothache etc.
    Edited by TINO: external web address removed

  5. Emily says:

    thanks i have been worried about not finding the right site to look at symptons on depresion,
    i have had a think and i have all these symptons i go to CAHMS for help but i need some advice and help on how to get infront of depression and anxiety

    • lynz says:

      Hi Emily, well done on being so proactive on dealing with the depression and anxiety you are going through – have a read of our factsheet and also some of the videos and real stories have tips from other young people that might give some great suggestions, also one girl wrote this great blog series for us about managing depression it is full of tips from how to get others to understand what is happening for you, through to self help tips. Here is part 1 http://www.tuneinnotout.com/blog/managing-my-depression-pt-1/ we also suggest giving a service like headspace a call as they have a number of different service options http://www.headspace.org.au – you take good care and you can beat this and things will feel OK again, you’re not alone family, friends and other services can be beside you through this.

  6. Jasmin says:

    Im Really Unhappy. EveryWhere I Go People Tease Me I Wanna Die

    • lynz says:

      Hi Jasmin, we are so sorry to hear that you are feeling so unhappy, the people who are teasing you are being unkind, we know how hard it can be it ignore what they say, but nothing they are saying will be true. Do you have a friend or family member you can talk too? Sharing the problem can make things so much easier to handle. If you are having these strong feelings the key thing is not to act upon them, they are just here momentarily and they will pass as we promise things will get better – read some of the stories in the section above and the videos and hear from other young people who have felt similar things but have gone of to see things get better and feel so happy again. Please contact lifeline on 13 11 14 or if you feel you are in danger 000. Take great care and please turn to someone for support, you shouldn’t go through this alone – take huge care and stay safe. Lynsey

  7. Xavier says:

    I have been in the state of depression for a while now, but everyday is just getting worse. Everyone i have talked to hasn’t helped, my family and friends. I am going to see a psychologist but I’m worried that they wont be able to help me either. I dont know how much longer i can last

    • lynz says:

      Hi Xavier, sorry to hear you are having a tough time, but how brilliant that you have booked in to see a psychologist, that is a great step forward and fingers crossed you will both click and they will be able to help you. It is worth remembering though, if for any reason that appointment doesn’t help, try again either visiting them or seeking help else where. Quite a few people have shared their stories here on TINO about how they have had to visit a few places until they found someone who worked for them, and now they are doing so much better and glad they persevered. Maybe also take a list of things you want to chat about, or ask about to the meeting. take great care, and keep talking, you are doing amazing taking that step to find help TINO Crew

  8. Rychelle says:

    Hi my name is Rychelle and my father is ok but he has depression because of my behaver and I wanted to know if I can facts about it.

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