The festive season is a time when there is so much emphasis on connecting with others and celebrating the year. But this time of year also brings issues like financial problems, family conflict and loneliness to the fore.

Dr Phillipa Binns from NPSMedicineWise talks with Dr John about the common factors that contribute to the onset of depression and what you can do about it.While not all stressful events trigger depression a combination of events can lead to its onset.

It is a condition that impacts on people from all walks of life and there is also higher risk if there is a history of family members suffering from it. They talk about the common risk factors and highlight likely symptoms.

Listen in to their advise! Whilst it is hard to generalise, Dr Binns mentions that there are some key symptoms that help in the diagnosis of depression. These include: feeling sad, a loss of interest or pleasure in activities, feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts and constant self-blame that persists all through the day.

The message they stress is ‘Don’t put on a brave face – speak to your doctor’! There is a lot that can be done to assist people with depression both with medication and non-medical therapies. Some of the advice they suggest includes cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), exercise and importantly not drinking alcohol.

If you need help consult your doctor or contact LifeLine on 13 11 14.
BeyondBlue also offers some advice for coping with the Christmas Blues: