Dealing with depression

Depression looks different for everyone

Maybe you’ve been feeling down lately or finding it hard to deal with things that normally wouldn’t get to you.

You might wish you could find more motivation.

Maybe you’re having more bad days than good days or you’re bored and lonely, things just lack colour.

On MOST, we’ve got tools to help young people who are dealing with depression and the troubling thoughts and emotions that can come with it.

Am I depressed or just a bit sad?

No one likes feeling sad.

When difficult things happen, we can be left feeling miserable.

Sometimes nothing bad has to happen for us to feel rotten – we just do. 

It can be helpful to understand the signs that may indicate you’re feeling a bit more than just sadness.

Breathing — a powerful tool for dealing with depression

Three-minute breathing space

Paying deliberate attention to the world around us can help calm the troubling thoughts and emotions that come with depression.

One of the ways you can do this is by focusing on your breathing. Your breathing is always with you, making it the perfect anchor when you need to break a chain of negative thinking.

Next time you find yourself in a spiral of negative thoughts, try this three-minute breathing exercise.

After you’ve read the instructions set a timer for three minutes and close your eyes.

Sit up straight or stand comfortably.

Now, bring your awareness to your body:

  • what thoughts are going through your mind?
  • what feelings are here?
  • what about body sensations?

Next, redirect your attention to your breathing:

  • feel your belly move in and out
  • feel your breath move through your nose

Last, expand your attention to your breathing and your body:

  • notice the pressure of your feet on the floor
  • look out for tension in your muscles, and
  • breathe in and out deeply

Your attention will wander as you try this. When you notice it has, gently bring it back to your breathing.

Looking for more ideas or support?

Consider connecting to MOST’s digital mental health support for strategies dealing with depression, managing anxiety and more. Sign up for free through your participating headspace or specialist youth mental health service. MOST is available in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia.

Emergency help

If you or someone else is at immediate risk call 000.

For less urgent assistance, contact one of the following support services.

Provides free 24/7 telephone, online, and video counselling and crisis support to all Australians affected by suicide.

Phone: 1300 659 467

Provides free 24/7 online and phone personal crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians.

Phone: 13 11 14

Provides free and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling for children and young people aged between five and 25 years.

Phone: 1800 551 800

Provides email, chat and phone counselling for young people aged between 12 and 25 years. eheadspace operates seven days a week, from 9:00am to 1:00am AEDST.

Phone: 1800 650 890