Wrestling with the Black Dog
Posted: 29/09/2011 5:00:00 AM
Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Job-seekers
A recent article in Mining Australia caught our eye. Mental Health: The Forgotten Side of Mine Safety
broached the subject of depression. While women are quite good at identifying when they are feeling depressed, it’s often a different story for men.
The article states:
Statistically, men are more likely to suffer from depression and other mental health issues, and this number increases significantly for men working and living in rural and regional areas.
One in three rural and regional workers take at least one day off work every few months because they are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, according to recent research commissioned by Medibank Health Solutions.
A large percentage of men employed in regional areas are working in the resource industry.
What is depression?
According to Black Dog Institute
, a not-for-profit educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility, feeling “down” and suffering from depression illness are two separate things. Depression is a common human experience, something we’ve all felt from time to time. It can turn into an illness when the following conditions are present:
- the mood state is severe
- it lasts for two weeks or more
- it interferes with our ability to function at home or at work
Signs your depression is an illness
The Black Dog Institute shares these signs of a depressed illness:
- Lowered self‐esteem (or self‐worth)
- Change in sleep patterns, that is, insomnia or broken sleep or excessive sleep
- Change in appetite or weight
- Less ability to control emotions such as pessimism, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety
- Varying emotions throughout the day, for example, feeling worse in the morning and better as the day progresses
- Reduced capacity to experience pleasure: you can't enjoy what's happening now, nor look forward to anything with pleasure, hobbies and interests drop off
- Reduced pain tolerance: you are less able to tolerate aches and pains and may have a host of new ailments
- Changed sex drive: absent or reduced
- Poor concentration and memory: some people are so impaired that they think that they are going demented
- Reduced motivation: it doesn't seem worth the effort to do anything, things seem meaningless
- Lowered energy levels
When to seek help
Having one or two of these features, by themselves, is unlikely to indicate depression. They might be caused by something else and it’s worth getting a medical assessment.
If you’re thinking about suicide, contact a mental health professional right away.
Otherwise, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms described for most of every day for two weeks or longer, you need to consider speaking to someone. If these feelings interfere with your ability to manage at home and at work, you might very well benefit from getting an assessment by a skilled professional.
Depression is an illness
Keep in mind, depression is an illness and does not reflect a poor character.
Seeking help will improve your quality of life. There’s absolutely no shame in depression illness.
Where to go for more information
Talk to your family doctor about your concerns. They will be able to assess your situation and make recommendations for treatment. It might be something as simple as changing your diet or increasing your exercise so don’t hesitate to speak openly with your physician.
You can take an online self-test
on the home page of the Black Dog Institute website.
Two other places offering information and support include:
- Black Dog Ride – a not-for-profit organisation designed to raise awareness about depression – especially focused on men in rural areas of Australia.
- Beyond Blue - a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.
Where do you turn for help when you're feeling down?
Image courtesy of Black Dog Institute
Add your comment