Healthy Living

How often should you feel sad?

When 'the blues' might be something more serious…

Written by Editor Medibank
Father and son spending time together talking.

It can be tricky to recognise the difference between being sad and experiencing depression. The good news is that there are plenty of resources out there to help you distinguish the difference. Medibank mental health expert, Georgia Karabatsos, sheds some light on the topic.

Signs of depression

While it’s important to remember that everyone feels down from time-to-time, it’s equally important to know when it’s time to get help. If you feel bouts of sadness tend to last for more than two weeks, it’s worth speaking to a professional. According to Beyond Blue, other common symptoms of depression include:

  • Behavioural symptoms: such as not wanting to go out, not getting things done at work/school, an inability to concentrate, and withdrawing from close family and friends.
  • Emotional symptoms: such as feeling overwhelmed, irritable, frustrated and lacking in confidence.
  • Physical symptoms: such as feeling tired all of the time, being sick and run-down, experiencing sleep problems and changes in appetite, and a sudden weight loss or gain.

Organisations like Black Dog Institute or BeyondBlue have great resources, such as this simple checklist to help tell if you’re experiencing depression. Depending on your score, they may recommend that you see your GP or health professional for a more thorough assessment.

Getting help

If you think you might be depressed, taking the first step can be scary, but remember you’re not alone. It’s important to seek help early -- the sooner you reach out to a professional, the sooner you can start feeling like yourself again.

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression, there’s 24/7 support out there. For urgent support, reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14, or make an appointment with your GP.

Get more tips and guidance around mental health.

Written by Editor Medibank

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