Depression – What is it?

Depression is very common. Over a million people in Australia live with depression and 160,000 young people live with depression each year.

On average one in five females and one in eight makes will experience depression in their lifetime.

Even though so many Australians suffer from this illness there are still many people that don’t understand what it is.

Depressed (the word) is derived from a Latin word (dēpressus) which means “pressed down”

I think this is a very relevant point – why?

Because when I “came out” and said I was infact suffering from depression/anxiety. People said things like “you – suffering from depression? No, but you’re a positive person.”

People seem to think that depression is someone that is negative. Well, i’m sure some people with depression are negative however that word does not describe depression.

If I was explaining depression to someone I think the expression Pressed down is a perfect description. To me it’s like pressure, like heaviness on my shoulders. I found myself grinding my teeth and frowning a lot.

And I had so much noise in my head. It was like I could never reach a peaceful state. So so much noise. That noise has now dulled as I’m using medication to help and it has really helped with lots of triggers and symptoms.

One thing I think is very important to add is that depression isn’t a choice and it’s not something you can just switch off. It is an illness and it needs to be treated like one.

If you know someone that you may think is depressed or suffering from some kind of mental illness be there for them. Do research and find out information to help them. – See links below!

How do you know if you’re or someone you know is depressed?

A person may be depressed , if for more than two weeks they have:

  • Lost interest or pleasure in most of their usual activities


  • Felt sad down or miserable most of the time.


  • Stop going out
  • Not getting work done
  • Withdrawing from close friends and family
  • No longer doing things they enjoy
  • Unable to concentrate

Tell me about your experience with depression and what did you do to help yourself?

Need more information? go here:

Information on depression, anxiety and related disorders, available treatments and where to get help
beyondblue’s website for young people
Information and internet-based education and treatment programs for people with depression or anxiety
Information about depression and bipolar disorder
Mental health information for people from culturally diverse backgrounds
Information, support and services for young people aged 12 to 25

About the Author

Kristy Vallely is the founder and Creator of the Imperfect Mum.

Kristy believed there needed to be a place that women could go to. Where they could talk and relate. A place they could feel safe. A place they trusted. So The Imperfect Mum was born in June 2011. There was obviously such a need that when the gates 'opened' a huge flurry of women followed. Kristy has always been very passionate about women and the issues they face.

Her passion and determination has helped her carve out a career helping others and creating 'a go to place' for women from all around the world.

Posted in:  Mental Health

2 Replies


I find I need the holy trinity of treatment. Diet/exercise, medication and therapy. Mindfullness has helped a lot to stop the buzzing whirring thoughts in my head, and the thoughts upon thoughts, upon thoughts. Although I have trouble accessing it when I'm at my lowest. My children have participated in courses through agencies which has helped them understand my depression and what it means on a day to day basis. It helps to come out. And I'm lucky enough to have an employer that values me, even when I don't, and assists with work placement and leave etc.

The Imperfect Mum

Thanks for sharing Cherie. I think the thoughts and pressure that we put on ourselves is the worst part. - Sending you love. xx