A person who is extremely severely depressed are likely experiencing debilitating cognitive, physiological and/or behavioral symptoms. They are not able to complete their usual duties or they have become increasingly challenging. Interpersonal issues are likely significant.

Tips for Managing Extremely Severe Depression

If you believe you are experiencing extremely severe depression you should seek urgent professional support from a mental health professional or a General Practitioner is strongly advised as you are likely having great difficulty coping with your current circumstances.

The following tips may be helpful in managing depression and anxiety:

• Speak to your doctor about your concerns and discuss treatment options. Make sure you attend all of your appointments and have regular check-ups.

• Learn as much as you can about depression and the chronic physical illness.

• Accept help, support and encouragement from family and friends.

• Avoid feeling isolated by becoming involved in social activities, if you are able.

• Talk to others who are going through a similar experience, such as in a peer support group.

It’s important to be kind to yourself, eat well, get regular exercise if you are able, try to get enough sleep and avoid alcohol. Make time for activities that you enjoy and allow yourself time to relax.

• Make sure you eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and avoid alcohol and other drugs.

• Allow yourself time to relax and do what you enjoy. Plan activities like social outings and exercise.

• Look for symptoms of anxiety and depression in yourself and seek support at the earliest sign.

• Seek support from professionals. This may involve having counselling or attending a carer support group.

If you are struggling with severe depression and would like to know more about this condition, read the following beyond blue booklet:

When depression becomes very severe, dark thoughts can emerge and these can even lead to suicide. If you are having thoughts of suicide, talking to someone you trust can help.

Are you experiencing suicidal thoughts?

Finding yourself thinking about suicide can be frightening. You might feel alone, and like nobody can understand what you’re going through. It may help you to know that lots of people struggle with life, and that many people who have had similar thoughts to you have found a way through it.

Remember that there’s a big difference between thoughts and actions. Thoughts come and go, and don’t have to be acted on.

People have all sorts of reasons for contemplating suicide. It might be one big thing, or it might be a combination of things. Some of the most common reasons for suicidal thoughts are:

  • personal problems – for example, relationship break-ups, being abused, or being bullied
  • major stresses – like problems with money or getting a job
  • mental health issues – such as overwhelming depression or anxiety
  • loss or grief for example, the death of someone close to you
  • problems with drugs or alcohol
  • long-term pain or ill health
  • feeling alone and like you don’t belong

Whatever your reason, life can be very hard and you may feel like there’s no hope for the future. That’s when it’s time to get help.

What should I do?

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, there are some things you need to do:

  1. Let someone know how you’re feeling. Talk to a friend, family member, counsellor, or doctor – or contact a crisis service like Lifeline.
  2. Keep yourself safe. If you feel in danger, call triple zero (000) or go to your nearest hospital. Get rid of anything you could use to hurt yourself, and don’t go to any places where you’ve thought about killing yourself.
  3. Don’t make any hasty decisions. Remember that thoughts and feelings do pass with time.
  4. Avoid drugs and alcohol. They can make you feel worse or do things you wouldn’t do if you were sober.
  5. Try not to be alone. Stay with someone you trust until you feel better. If that’s not possible, talk to someone at a crisis service (see ‘Where to get help’).
  6. Make a safety plan. Sit down with your doctor or another support person, and work out a plan to follow when you’re feeling suicidal. You might find the Beyond Now app helpful.
  7. Help yourself – follow some tips for managing suicidal feelings to see if they help.

How to talk to someone about suicidal thoughts

When you’re feeling bad, it can seem like the hardest time to talk about how you feel. But if you don’t, it can make things seem even worse.

You might worry about what people will think of you, or how they might react. But while talking can be hard, it’s the first step to feeling better. So how do you have the conversation?

If you decide to talk to a friend or family member:

  • Be patient with yourself, take your time
  • Start by letting them know you’re struggling and need to talk
  • Be honest and clear, so they can understand what’s going on
  • Be prepared for their reaction – it might be hard for them to hear what you’re saying, but keep going – they will adjust.

Visit Beyond Blue’s website for tips on things to say.

If you decide to talk to a health professional, tell them:

  • you’ve been having suicidal thoughts
  • how often and in how much detail you think about suicide
  • if you have access to something you could use to kill yourself
  • if you’ve tried to hurt yourself before

If you feel more comfortable talking to someone you don’t know, call a crisis service – see ‘Where to get help’ below.

Where to get help

If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start.

There are also many organisations out there that can help you. Here are some you can visit online or call anytime (24 hours a day, 7 days a week):