Folate enriched Food for Special Medical Purpose

What is depression

Depression or Depressive Disorders are “a group of illnesses characterised by excessive or long-term depressed mood and loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable”.

Everyone feels low at some point in their lives. Normal life events – such as a death in the family, relationship breakdowns and work stress – can bring about low mood, anxiety and sadness. However, clinical depression is much more than this.

Depression is considered a disorder, or more than a normal part of life, when a person cannot get back to or resume their normal functioning or feelings that existed prior to the low mood. These feelings are ongoing, they last more than a couple of weeks, and the low mood interferes with the individual’s normal daily functioning.

Apart from mood symptoms, depression can affect an individual’s physical, occupational and social functioning.

Causes of depression

There is no simple answer as to what causes depression. The reasons a person experiences depression can be complex and varied. And, the different types of depression can be caused by a diverse combination of reasons.

In fact, “depression is most likely due to a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors”. Individuals may also experience depression when there is no obvious reason or trigger.

The causes of depression can be categorised into the following:

  1. Genetic predisposition
  2. Biochemical disruption or depletion
  3. Ageing
  4. Illness
  5. Stress Events

Further resources about depression

For immediate counselling assistance, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you think that you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, you can, in the first instance, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 to reach their confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7 from a landline, payphone or mobile.

For help with depression, contact the following:

  • SANE helpline - Talk to a mental health professional (weekdays 10am-10pm AEST)
  • The beyondblue Support Service provides advice and support via telephone 24/7 (just call 1300 22 4636), daily web chat (between 3pm–12am) and email (with a response provided within 24 hours).
  • Lifeline can also supply you with contacts, further information and help
  • You can get help from your local GP, Community Health Centre and Community Mental Health Centre
  • Community Help and Welfare Services and 24-hour emergency numbers in your local telephone directory

Organisations that can help:

Depression Self-Test:

Depression Fact Sheets / Booklets / Publications / Guides:

Helping Someone with Depression:

Online Courses - clinically proven to help:

Chat Rooms & Messageboard:

Messageboard and chat rooms for Australians living with depression and our family & friends to communicate and share with other people:

Tools & Apps:

Professionally-reviewed mobile apps and tools to help you look after your health and wellbeing –