The first things you’ll see when opening the Australian government site is the big yellow “Coronavirus (COVID-19)” banner, but if you scroll down a little, you’ll get all the important information about current guidelines and news. One of the bullet points that has been up almost since the beginning is the one advising people to take care of their mental health.
I understand that not everyone is an introvert like me and my husband; there are some people who just can’t stand to go more than a day or two without interacting with others or going out to do something. And when people are denied that kind of interaction for so long, it can lead to depression. So it’s no wonder that the government is putting up links and phone numbers to these organizations that can help with mental health problems during this pandemic.
According to the Lifeline site that the government recommends, some signs of depression are:
- Feeling sad, ‘flat’ or down most of the time (for two weeks or more)
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy (for two weeks or more)
- Feeling tired or lacking energy and motivation
- Moodiness that is out of character
- Increased irritability and frustration
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Changes in your weight or appetite
- Having problems sleeping or sleeping all the time
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Feeling restless, edgy or slowed down
- Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Thinking repeatedly about death or suicide
If you’re worried you may be suffering from depression, anxiety, or something similar, tell someone. Keeping it bottled in will only make the problem worse. If you feel uncomfortable talking to a loved one, see a doctor or a therapist or a psychologist; it might seem strange at first but maybe all you need is an unbiased opinion from a stranger. And please make sure to look after yourself; keeping healthy is one of the best ways to fight these kinds of illnesses.
If you’re worried about your mental health, please contact:
- Phone number: 13 11 14
- Online chat: https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/online-services/crisis-chat
- Phone number: 1800 512 348
Information: Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/depression