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What is depression?

Depression is a low mood that lasts for a significant amount of time. The severity of depression can vary: a mild depression might not stop you from doing your normal activities, although it can make them harder to do and things might not feel worthwhile; when depression is more severe it can leave you feeling suicidal and unable to function normally. Depression can have many causes – for some people there are clear triggers, but others can find it difficult to understand why they are depressed.

Statistics for depression: 1 in 16 people in Australia are affected by depression every year. The good news is that depression can be managed with the right resources and the support of the Black Dog Institute.

If you have been feeling really sad, overwhelmed or depressed for most of the time, or had such feelings for more than 2 weeks or more, it will affect your ability to cope at home, work, school, college or university.


low mood, loss of interest/motivation

Fatigue for no real reason

Difficulty concentrating/making decisions



Feeling trapped/overwhelmed

Recurrent thoughts of death

Suicidal thoughts