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Am I just melancholic or am I depressed?

People often feel mentally unwell for days or even weeks, but it’s difficult to pin down a specific issue or specific incident as the cause.

A lack of drive, sleep disorders, a lack of joy – all of these can be signs of a depressive mood. Lots of people doubt whether and how they can be helped and try to get by themselves. Monique Novy says “the point in time when a person thinks it’s sensible to get help is a highly personal question. People often only come to me when they really don’t know how to go on. The reason for this is often that they think they have to get through difficult or challenging life situations by themselves. If people get good support for phases of life in which they experience stress or change, this can prevent diseases and suffering and result in good development and structure.”

Negative feelings such as anxiety, uncertainty or helplessness can result in many physical reactions and thoughts that are often difficult to attribute and name single-handedly. It’s therefore sensible to get support so you can look at your individual options and shape them with a zest for life and trust in yourself. If this isn’t possible, people’s thoughts about themselves circulate negatively.

“All of the feelings like despair, sadness and all of the positive feelings are part of life, because as humans we are able to think about ourselves and our lives. There is no absolute certainty in the lives of humans. If it’s no longer possible to focus on a feeling of security because negative thoughts, symptoms or feelings constantly get in the way, this can be extremely challenging,” says Novy. It’s therefore sensible to work with the person you're talking to and to look at where there is scope and where choices can be made, along with personal hopes and desires.

In addition to the psychological support, it is also advisable to have medical checks done, for example to rule out deficiencies of iron or magnesium, which can also lead to internal unrest.
The family counseling centers across Austria can support you and advise you on this issue. You can use our search function to find one near you.

Our interview partner

Isabella Kainersdorfer is an educational worker and counselor in family counseling centers run by the Association of Holistic Support and Therapy in Lower Austria.

Caritas Familienberatung & Psychotherapie
10/1st Floor
3100 St.Pölten
Website Caritas St. Pölten 

The interview was conducted in April 2022.

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