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It can sometimes be difficult to know whether:

• you are just feeling down because you are experiencing grief and loss

• or you have symptoms of depression.

Depression can certainly be triggered by loss and it may share symptoms with grief, such as difficulty controlling emotions and moods, feeling teary and tired - however,

it's important to recognise the difference between normal grieving and depression.

Depression is more than just a low mood or feeling sad.

A person is likely to be depressed if:

• they get no enjoyment from any aspect of life

• it's difficult to do things - like getting up in the morning

• they have no energy and drive

• they are avoiding people

• they're not looking after themselves properly - eating, washing etc.

• they feel ashamed or guilty.

A diagnosis of depression can be made if a person has persistently, for more than TWO WEEKS:

• Felt sad, down or miserable most of the time

• Lost interest or pleasure in almost all usual activities.

If the answer is ‘YES' to either of these questions, complete the symptom checklist below.

If the answer was not ‘YES' to either of these questions, it is unlikely that the person has a depressive illness.

• Lost or gained a lot of weight OR

Had a decrease or increase in appetite

• Sleep disturbance

• Felt slowed down, restless or excessively busy

• Felt tired or had no energy

• Felt worthless OR

Felt excessively guilty OR

Felt guilt about things they should not have been feeling guilty about

• Had poor concentration OR

Had difficulties thinking OR

Were very indecisive

• Had recurrent thoughts of death

Add up the number of ticks for the total score: _____


References: American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and statistical manual

of mental disorders, .

It's important to note that scores provide only a rough guide as to whether someone has depression.
If you have ticked five or more of these statements, a health professional should be consulted.


There is a range of effective treatments for depression including psychological therapies and/or medication.

Psychological treatments help a person to change negative thought patterns and feelings.

A person can learn new ways to react to people and situations.

This can help recovery and prevent depression from returning.

Medication - If someone is only mildly or moderately depressed, psychological treatment alone may be effective.

However, if depression is severe, medication is often necessary as well. Antidepressants can take seven to 21 days to work effectively and should not be started or stopped without medical advice. Sometimes sleeping tablets can be helpful, but only for a short time.

It's important to remember that with the right treatment, most people recover from depression.

It's not always easy to help someone who is experiencing depression.
It can be hard to know what to say or do.

Below are some tips:

• Recognise that depression is an illness that needs treatment.

• Don't be afraid to talk to the person about how he/she is feeling.

• Spending time with the person lets them know someone cares and understands them.

• Encourage the person to seek professional help from a doctor or a mental health professional.

• Take care of yourself.
• Supporting someone with depression can be demanding.
• Family members and friends should take time to look after themselves.



At 777 Counselling Service, why else would we be placing these notes on our web site.

We regularly assist and Counsel clients who have been and still are experiencing depression or been the partner of a depressed person.

Several of our clients have been to the Doctor and psychiatrists over the years and do not want to be dulled or doped with medication and they have had faith in their own ability to manage depression. With this positive attitude we have been able to support and help many people with our Hakomi body centered psychotherapy which has the potential to get to the core of very early psychological wounds lying deep in the psyche....many unconsciously conditioned & buried traumatic wounds, beliefs and attitudes since our childhood.

• We acknowledge and thank beyondblue for the bulk of this material and trust that this information may be helpful to support you in some way.

When seeking Counselling with us your personal Confidentiality is assured.

We sincerely trust you may have found these notes appropriate and helpful.

Another very helpful organisation for those who seeking group or individual support for grief management especially in around the loss of a child is available at
The Compassionate Friends.

If you would like further information, or you maybe seeking support please do not hesitate to contact
Carol Stuart or Rod McClure JP at the 777 Counselling Service
Level 1 of the Royal Arcade Bondi Junction.

Or Phone 93877355 9.00 am till 9.00 pm seven days.

Out of hours emergency call Rod direct on 0412 777303

Or Email your concern or question to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  & we will respond ASAP.



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Nowra Office; 44 Lyrebird Drive NOWRA. NSW 2541. AUSTRALIA. Phone: 61 0412 777303.
777 Counselling Service