Dolly Doctor

How to deal with depression

How to spot the telltale signs of depression and what you can do about it.

How to deal with depression

Dear DOLLY,

I think I might have depression. I even tested myself on [beyondblue.org.au](http://www.beyondblue.org.au/|target="_blank") and got a score of 35 (high). I don’t know how to see a doctor or counsellor without my mum and dad knowing, and my teacher tells them everything. I really can’t tell my parents because they’ll limit my life just so I don’t get depressed again, and I don’t want them to see me as a failure. They already always ask, 'Why are you depressed?' If I tell my friends, it’s not like they can help in any way. I don’t know what to do. Help!

Leah

If you’re consistently down and experiencing other symptoms of depression (e.g. feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, sleep problems, appetite changes, lack of motivation, low energy or difficulties concentrating), reach out for help.

You can see your GP or school counsellor without having to tell anyone. There are other options, too. For example, Kids Helpline or Lifeline offer phone or web-based counselling which is free and confidential.

Even though you’re reluctant to involve your parents, don’t dismiss them as a possible source of support. You could try letting them know what you’ve been going through, then give them some information about depression (e.g. fact sheets from youthbeyondblue.com or reachout.com). Explain that you don’t want to be seen as a failure, but you just want help.

Got a life question you need answered? DOLLY counsellor Louise Remond can help. Email your question to dollydoctor@bauer-media.com.au