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Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Many Kiwis experience depression at some point in their lives. In fact, 1 in 7 people are likely to become vulnerable to it. This can be triggered by a number of causes, from a traumatic event, to a family history of mental illness. Symptoms of the illness include: low moods, decrease in energy, difficulty sleeping and thinking, and a change in appetite. Receiving medical help from qualified professionals is a very important step in managing your depressive state. With our online doctor service Bettr, you can do this from home.

What is depression?

Depression is a common mental health concern that can affect people of all ages, stages, genders and situations. It can affect how you feel, and alter your behaviour from a short to a long period of time. When you are depressed, your moods tend to stay low, which begins to affect your sleep, relationships, day-to-day activities, behaviour and your appetite. It is most common in age groups 25+.

What causes depression?

There is no one specific cause for suffering from depression. Many factors can trigger depression, and can enable you to become vulnerable to the illness.

Depression can be related to events in life that have caused major distress to an individual, including but not limited to: relationships, financial problems, work related stress and personal conflict. Depression can also be linked to a family history of suffering from mental illness.

With no singular cause of depression, it can be hard to pinpoint why such a number of Kiwis find themselves in a depressive state. Additional causes may include:

  • Traumatic events; car accidents, health scares, etc which have left a negative impact on your state of mind.
  • Certain medications can lead you to develop depressive symptoms.
  • Inability to socialise with friends, family and social groups or the feeling of being isolated from these people.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depressive symptoms can develop over a matter of days and/or weeks. Not everyone who suffers from depression will experience the same symptoms, and a large portion of symptoms can be considered circumstantial. 

  • Difficulty sleeping. Sleeping less, sleeping for longer periods of time than usual, disturbed sleep and waking sleep. Most people who suffer from depression are often left feeling not well rested.
  • Decrease in energy. Difficulty eating, sleeping or regulating emotion can all leave you feeling tired or fatigued. This makes it hard to fulfil everyday tasks.
  • Change in appetite. People who are suffering from the illness will not have an appetite, which may lead to a loss in weight. 
  • Irritable moods. This can be seen in younger people and men (Maori and Pasifika) and can be the main change in mood.
  • Difficulty thinking clearly. This can develop into difficulty concentrating and making everyday decisions.
  • Suicidal thoughts. If you are suffering through a stage of hopelessness, or feel as though death is the only way out, you are going through a stage of suicidal thoughts. These should be treated very seriously, and you should seek professional guidance immediately.

Who can get depression?

People from all walks of life can develop depression, it is most commonly found in people aged 25–45 regardless of gender and ethnicity. Those who suffer from depression are more likely to develop further mental problems, which is why it is important to seek help immediately. This is available through our online appointments service, Bettr. We have a team of professionals who will provide you with the treatment you need.

How is depression treated?

Medication – Upon assessment, your local GP is likely to prescribe you with an antidepressant. Finding the right medication to help treat your problem can be trial and error, and you need to find a medication that fits best with you.

Therapy – Alternatively, you can visit a therapist who specialises in treating those with depression. Your GP will help to determine which treatment is best for you, and will explain what is available locally.

Lifestyle - With professional advice, treating depression or supporting recovery can be as simple as making changes to your lifestyle. Your GP will offer solutions to changes you could make to manage your depression and symptoms.

What do I do if I have depression?

If you are suffering from symptoms of depression and/or are suffering from suicidal thoughts and ideation it is important to act on these quickly. If you aren’t sure whether you have depression but think you might, talking to someone could help.

As soon as possible, make sure to get in touch with a GP. This can be done through an online consultation with Bettr. Depression is a condition that is able to be treated without visiting a GP physically. Our team will walk you through the best possible options available to you. If you’d like to see a doctor about depression, book your consultation below.

We offer same day appointments and online prescriptions. Immediate healthcare when you need it. There is no need to download an app, or re-register with your GP.

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