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Depression explained: The common misconceptions and genetic factors

Depression doesn’t discriminate and can ‘creep up’ unexpectedly, a lead researcher in men’s mental health says.

Dr Fiona Shand, a psychologist and senior researcher with The Black Dog Institute, explained the factors that can lead to developing depression on 3AW Drive and how debilitating it can be.

‘Sometimes it can be a traumatic event,’ she said.

‘Other times it creeps in slowly to the extent that people often don’t recognise what’s actually happening to them.

‘It’s a common misconception that people who look to be doing well on the surface are actually doing well.

‘We know people who are high achievers do get depression and often it’s because of their high expectations of themselves.’

There are genetic and environmental factors that contribute to depression and anxiety, she explained.

‘It can creep up on people and they find themselves just feeling really tired,’ Dr Shand said.

‘Often the symptoms are physical, not being able to think clearly, worrying a lot.

‘And it’s not entirely clear thats an episode of depression, it can take a bottoming out to recognise it and seek help.’

To seek help, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. 

LISTEN: Mental health researcher Dr Fiona Shand on 3AW Drive