Depression: Who are nursing our nurses?
In an article written in the Health Times last year, they asked a very important question- who is looking after our nurses?
According to a national survey, 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. It is estimated that in any given year, close to 1 million Australian adults have depression and 2 million have anxiety.
Although nurses have extensive medical training, you might be unable to recognise symptoms when it happens to you, especially vague symptoms including moodiness, exhaustion, weight fluctuations and sleep deprivation. It is easy to shrug off these symptoms as everyday stress, but depression isn't something to shrug off. This can impact everything from a nurses' daily life to relationships with patients and co-workers.
What causes depression?
It is hard to know exactly what causes depression, however research suggests it is usually a combination of personal issues or difficult long-term circumstances rather than one immediate event or issue. A number of contributing factors are noted:
- Long-term unemployment, isolation or loneliness
- Living in an unhealthy or abusive relationship
- ContinuedÊwork stress
- Drug and alcohol use
- Major events, such as the death of a family member or friend, diagnosis of an illness or the end of a relationship
- Serious medication conditions and dealing with long-term management and chronic pain
- Personality traits including a tendency to worry, low self esteem as well as being sensitive to personal criticism and a perfectionist
- Genetic predisposition Ð some people may have an increased genetic risk if depression runs in the family, however having a parent or close relative with depression doesn't mean you'll automatically have the same experience
Depression is often a combination of factors and can be very difficult to self diagnose. Although everyone's condition may be different, the most important factor to acknowledge is that depression is a serious illness that affects your physical and mental health. Finding our more and understanding depression can be a good starting point, especially reading theÊsigns and symptomsÊandÊto know where toÊseek support.
What to do
When seeking help, it is important to speak to a professional. GPs are the best starting point for someone seeking professional advice and support. When consulting a GP about depression or anxiety, it's important to book a longer or double appointment, ensuring there is enough time to discuss the situation without feeling anxious for time constraints.Ê
GPs will be able to make a diagnosis as well as check for any physical health problems or medication that might be contributing or affecting your mental health. Additionally, GPs can provide you with information and available treatment programs, support and counseling or refer you to someone who can.ÊThe earlier you seek out professional help the more likely you are to avoid escalation of your depressive symptoms to greater levels of severity. It is important to remember depression is a serious condition, however can be prevented and cured with education and seeking professional help.
Depression: Who are nursing our nurses? In an article written in the Health Times last year, they asked a very important question- who is looking after our nurses? According to a national survey, 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. It is estimated that in any given year,