I Am Tom The self medicator

Depression is diagnosed when you have symptoms for at least 2 weeks and these symptoms interfere with your normal functioning. You are not alone. Depression affects 1 in 7 Australians. It is a serious medical condition that affects your physical and mental health.

Tom is attempting to address his depression and low mood through illegal drug use. Tom’s presents as “zoned out” and his difficulty following instructions and poor concentration is due to his low self-esteem and depression. His withdrawal from social interactions is also a strong sign of depression and results from his low mood and low self-esteem. You may be relying on alcohol to try and improve your mood. You may also find it hard to concentrate at work and to enjoy the company of others as you once did.

Depression is different from sadness or grief in the following ways:

  • Grief or painful, sad feelings come in waves. In depression, mood and or interest /pleasure are decreased for most of the time.
  • In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. However, with depression, feeling of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.

Depression can present in lots of different ways. For more examples of what depression might look like, explore other bus worker scenarios on the website.

Feeling down or flat or a short period of time is normal. But when those feelings don’t go away for more than 2 weeks and they start to interfere with your ability to complete tasks as you don’t have the energy or motivation to get out of bed or you lose interest in things that were once pleasurable, it is a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with work, commitments, and daily life.

The great news is that there are proven treatments to help people manage their depression. Your GP can diagnose your condition and then match you to the right treatment according to your diagnosis. To learn more about depression and how it can be managed, please click here.


To help you understand if your symptoms are likely to be Depression Beyond Blue has a Mental Health Check-in. It is a short questionnaire that asks how you have felt over the past 4 weeks. The results are anonymous and will give you some recommendation on how and what kind of support you may benefit from:

Beyond Blue – Mental health check-in


Your GP can help you understand mental health and provide advice. Other good links for you to review or people to talk to include:

Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/mental-health/depression

Black Dog Institute https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
or if you need immediate help https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/emergency-help/

Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/information-and-support/depression/

If you want to talk to someone for free you can

Mensline https://mensline.org.au This is a free, confidential online and telephone counselling service for men

Mindspot https://www.mindspot.org.au

Living with a mental health condition looks different for everyone.
Click on the profiles below to understand what experiencing mental health issues might look like in your workplace, and how to get help.