At Your Wits End?

Stress and Depression Does Not Discriminate Between Fathers or Mothers


  • One in six New Zealanders will experience serious depression, at some time in their life.
  • Depression is the most common risk factor for suicidal behaviour (it’s estimated that depression increases the risk of suicide by 20 times).
  • The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common cause of ill health and premature death worldwide.
  • Depression is one of the most common reasons that people are absent from work, or are unable to run a home.

Symptoms of Depression:


  • Constantly feeling down or hopeless.
  • Having little interest or pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy.


  • Irritability or restlessness feeling tired all the time, or general loss of energy.
  • Feelings of emptiness or loneliness.
  • No longer interested in favourite activities.
  • Sleep problems – too much, or too little.
  • Weight loss or gain.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Problems with concentration
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Thinking about death a lot


Often people with depression also find they worry about things more than usual. This is known as anxiety. It can cause physical symptoms like pain, a pounding heart or stomach cramps and for some people these physical symptoms are their main concern.

Anxiety may be constant, or it may come and go in certain circumstances. Either way it’s important to recognise anxiety when it occurs, and to seek help.

If you recognise any or all of these signs – particularly the key signs – you should take action sooner rather than later. Depression is far easier to deal with before it gets serious. Take some time to understand what can cause it, and then explore treatment options to help you to get through it.

Depression helpline 0800 111 757
You can take a 2 minute test to see if your showing warming signs of depression: Depression self test


Health Navigator Nz

They have several brochures on different types of stress including financial stress.

Symptoms of Stress

Stress is our body’s natural reaction to any kind of excess demand or threat.

In small doses, stress can be useful – we work faster, are more motivated and focused or can achieve a challenging physical goal.

On the other hand, long-term stress can be harmful.

Symptoms of stress are different for each person, but common symptoms include:

  • Headaches, muscle tension, neck or back pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling anxious, or jittery
  • Being more irritable or angry than normal
  • Overeating or loss of appetite and not eating well
  • Upset stomach
  • Chest pains, rapid heartbeat
  • Not sleeping
  • Feeling tired, flat, down or ‘worn out’
  • Finding it hard to concentrate or focus
  • Needing coffee, energy drinks or sugar buzz to keep going
  • Increased skin infections,mouth ulcers, colds, rashes or asthma


  • Mental Health Foundation NZ
  • Depression Helpline 0800 111 757
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354
  • Healthline 0800 611 116
  • Samaritans 0800 726 666
  • Youthline 0800 376 633
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  1. I lost thousands and thousands in Christchurch earthquakes, even though I was insured. I don’t mind that – that’s life which sometimes works out and sometimes doesn’t. A few months after the quakes I lost my job through redundancy. I got some interim work but then had to move away to earn money as I still had a ‘munted’ house and so did my ex. I made good money, but not enough to ever recover from the set back of the quakes, because I pay huge amounts in child support. My ex remarried and has been on overseas trips twice in the last three years, almost has a fully paid off house and has just bought another house. I can’t afford to pay for transport to work, or go out for a coffee or meal. I don’t get access to my kids and can’t afford a lawyer. I can’t stand how governments make idiot decisions that ruin peoples lives. No retirement for me. I’m not young anymore and I can’t see a future.

  2. I moved out if my violent relationship 9 years ago and I am still paying the price… I have a good job and a mortgage in Auckland my x has my son staying with him in Huntly. I received my latest notice of assessment to which has caused me stress. I now have to give my x $990 month for looking after my son in Huntly. I am left having to find a second job to pay for this. Oh and when you try and get an explanation from IRd…. you get a different answer for every rep that answers the phone. I’m also told I can only object based on 1 of 12 reasons. I’m at an absolute loss and have no idea why it would cost 990 month to raise a teenager in Huntly and no one I have spoken to at the child support department can tell me either.

  3. Is there a way to get the information to correlate the suicide rates and the effects that the social system (child support) has on people’s mental health.

    I’ve had Depression most of my life, but it became out of control after being used as a sperm donor and thrown to the IRD sharks for my ignorance.
    (My ex partner fooled me into believing she was on the pill and my child was conceived on my birthday, so I thought it was a special one-off occasion. I made it very clear that I didn’t intend to have children because of my mental health and the stress it would cause which in turn I knew would fuel my depression.)
    I feel like a victim, I have no voice and no one cares. I haven’t been able to have a normal life for the last 11 years.

    Child support payments killed off the little hope I had and the only goal I had for my life which was to buy my own home. I don’t work anymore because I’m unacceptable to society because I can’t control my emotions anymore.

    My only solace is I’m too sick to be used as a source of income, my only feeble way to stick it to the man and the social controllers.

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