Relapse of depression

7 months ago I was diagnosed with depression. I saw a psychologist for counselling; was prescribed antidepressants which worked quite well. For the last 2 months though, I have noticed the depression creeping back. I cry, feel tired, moody, lack motivation; have a general feeling of being ‘down’ for no good reason. I miss being myself; other people are starting to notice. I saw a GP here in Melbourne who just told me to buy a self help book. Could my medication need increasing? I won’t be able to see my own GP for over a month.

The symptoms you are experiencing are certainly of concern. I’d suggest you clarify the question about medication with a different GP, as waiting for another month could deepen your depression further. Medication sometimes needs to be adjusted in dosage or maybe a different product of anti-depressants would work better for you. Do you know that you can access a GP at the Health Service of the University of Melbourne and that it is a free service for students?

Generally it is advisable to also approach depression from the psychological side, as you obviously did 7 months ago. Another close exploration of potential underlying issues contributing to your depression might be valuable. After all, the question remains, why has your overall mood not changed for the better, and what makes you feel unhappy? Is it feasible to reconnect with your previous psychologist? (He/she is already familiar with your history and has established a rapport). If not, you have the option to see a counsellor at the University’s Counselling Service. You seem familiar with our website where you find all details about making appointments.

As for immediate self-help I’d suggest you to start with regular exercise (if you are not doing it anyway), to look after yourself with regards to your diet, sleep and things that are still pleasurable for you. For further information on depression and treatment options also check out the Beyond Blue website.

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