What is depression?


Depression is an intense feeling of sadness that lasts for a long time, sometimes weeks, months or years. If you are depressed, it can start to interfere with your personal and work life, your wellbeing and physical health. Feeling sad from time to time over short periods does not necessarily mean you are depressed. Here we ask, what is depression, and what are the symptoms?


What is depression, and what are the symptoms?

Everyone is different but there are some common symptoms of depression that you may be experiencing.

Your mood:

  • Feeling sad
  • Feeling numb
  • Feeling frustrated
  • Getting irritable easily
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling miserable.

Your thinking:

  • Being very self-critical (e.g. “I feel worthless”, “I am a failure”)
  • Thinking you cannot cope
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Thinking that nothing good every happens to me.

Your behaviour:

  • Losing interest in things and activities you used to enjoy
  • Lacking motivation
  • Lacking confidence
  • Crying a lot
  • Losing your temper more than usual
  • Avoiding friends and family.

Physical changes:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Significant change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling sick.


If your mood has been low for over two weeks, you can seek help. You can speak to your GP, a psychologist or call SuicideLine Victoria on 1300 651 251. Depression is treatable and you don’t have to go it alone.

If it is an emergency, please dial 000.