by Blog Hub

According to research from Beyond Blue, approximately fifty percent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. Within this group, it is estimated that 3 million people struggle with bouts of anxiety or depression.

Depression awareness has grown significantly over the past few years. Despite the widespread press it receives, discussions around treatment and medical diagnosis tend to fall by the wayside. This article is deigned to tackle these exact questions and more.


Depression symptoms vary significantly from person to person. Over time, however, the medical industry has gained a greater understanding of signs and indicators. Common experiences for depression sufferers often include

  1. Persistent depressed mood
  2. Appetite loss or changes
  3. Fatigue and energy loss
  4. Feeling worthless or guilty
  5. Inability to concentrate or organise thoughts
  6. Sleep issues (too much or not enough)
  7. Decrease in sexual desire
  8. Losing interest in activities once enjoyed
  9. Thoughts of suicide or self-harm


In recent years, depression has rose to prominence in a serious way. Awareness and widespread public recognition have followed. However, depression still requires a medical diagnosis before methods of treatment and therapy cycles occur.

The first step to diagnosis is seeking out assistance from a doctor or qualified mental health professional (be it a psychiatrist or psychologist). A professional assessment will ensure not only achieve an accurate diagnosis, but also enable a path toward recognition, treatment and recovery.


This initial session typically involves a series of questions to gauge the individual’s symptoms and mental state. Blood tests and physical examinations may also be carried out to rule out other conditions.


It is important to note that depression varies in severity and style. For instance, there is a major difference between clinical depression and seasonal depression. While certain groups can maintain their daily functions, others struggle to even get out of bed each day.

Mental health professionals can measure severity through questionnaires including the Hamilton Depression Scale Rating and The Beck Depression Inventory.


Major Depression Disorder

People with MDD or clinical depression experience a constant wave of sadness that totally disrupts their life. In this case, the person may also lose complete interest in the activities and hobbies they once enjoyed.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

PDD can also be referred to as ‘dysthymia’. Unlike major depression, this variation involves bouts of depression that may last for a portion of time. Symptoms generally persist anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 years at a time.

Psychotic Depression

Depression with psychosis is characterised by delusional thoughts and experiences, often involving a level of detachment from reality. In this case, the person may recount events or ideas that solely exist in their mind.

Bipolar Depression

Those with a bipolar condition experience bouts of both mania and depression. However, these phases do not always pass easily and can last for weeks at a time.

Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for depression disorders. Some individuals may respond well to a course of medications, while others experience little to no change at all. However, in line with the growing awareness and attention, depression treatments continue to expand and push forward with new methods of relief.


Medication is a common response for individuals with mild or major depression. As their name suggests, antidepressant treatments actively counteract feelings of sadness and melancholy. This line of treatment features an ever-growing variance in types and styles. It must first be recommended and prescribed by a mental health professional before use.

TMS Therapy

Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS is a growing form of non-invasive therapy for depression sufferers. TMS Therapy is exclusively recommended for those that don’t experience a reduction in symptoms from antidepressant medications. This process utilises magnetic fields to stimulate targeted nerve cells and transmitters in the brain. Specifically, each session involves a key focus on the frontal cortex of the brain, an area directly associated with mood and depression.

Support Hotlines

Hotlines and outreach programs have long been a staple of depression support. While not a physical treatment in the traditional sense, depression hotlines (either phone or online) can have a major impact and save lives every day. Australian organisations such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline lend their ear to anyone in desperate need of support or simply someone to talk to. Importantly, these services are totally free and confidential.

Reach Out to a Mental Health Clinic

A mental health clinic can offer critical support for anyone with a diagnosed depression disorder. Whether your disorder is newly diagnosed, or you have recently relapsed, a clinic and their practitioners can tailor an effective response.

Remember, treatments are more than simply a medication prescription. TMS Therapy may be a viable alternative and work well as a part of your personalised treatment plan.