Australian TPD Claims  



DEPRESSION - TPD SUPER CLAIMS - DISABILITY COMPENSATION SOLICITORS

SOLICITORS HELPLINE 1800 339 958

If you are unable to work because of major depression you may be able to make a TPD claim for a lump sum from the Total & Permanent Disablement insurance contained within your superannuation fund. There is no necessity for you to have been involved in an accident or to have suffered a work related injury to make a TPD claim. If you suffer from total and permanent disability, you may be able to make a TPD claim in addition to receiving your super early as a result of your condition. Our solicitors can advise you in detail as to the requirements of a successful submission, they will prepare all relevant paperwork and will obtain full supporting documentation. Our lawyers will give you free advice on the likely success of your claim to a super fund, without further obligation. It costs nothing to use our free advice service.

Depression is called “major depression” when it is severe enough to be called depression for a minimum of two weeks at a stretch. Often it lasts much longer than that and requires hospitalization or medications to control the symptoms. The symptoms are mainly feeling blue, sad, miserable, down or unhappy for a period of time that does not seem to get better with a good night’s sleep or diversion. The person often does not want to do fun activities and is down in the dumps for at least two weeks straight.

The causes of depression are not completely known. It is related to chemical imbalances in the brain—imbalances of neurotransmitters that control the way the neurons function. It is often hereditary and is in higher incidence if there are other family members affected. Stressful life events seem to be able to trigger depression, depending on the person. It can also occur out of the blue with no stressful life events or heredity involved.

Depression knows no age, racial or economic boundaries and can occur at any age, from children to the elderly. Things that play a role in the development of depression include the use of drugs or alcohol, stressful life events, whether they be concurrent to the depression or occurring in the past, hypothyroidism, certain medications, having a major medical condition, such as cancer or prolonged painful condition, or having sleep disorders.

Depression has a wide variety of symptoms. The symptoms vary, depending on the individual who has the condition. Symptoms can vary with different bouts of depression in the same individual over time. They include things like dramatic changes in appetite, irritability, restlessness or agitation, problems concentrating and fatigue or lack of energy. You can also have feelings of self-hate or worthlessness, guilty feelings, hopelessness or helplessness, thoughts of death or suicide, difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much, and withdrawing from normal social activities.

You can feel inappropriately angry with major depression and feel discouraged about everything you do. The use of alcohol or illegal substances can be a precursor to depression or can be a factor during depression as a means of self-medication. In severe depression, there can be psychotic symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations, many of which focus on guilty themes or inadequacy.

Tests for depression include the MMPI or Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the Beck Depression scale. Doctors can also look for at least five of the major symptoms of depression lasting for at least two weeks. Doctors use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders to help diagnose the disease. Medical conditions that mimic depression must be looked into and ruled out.

The treatment of depression includes medications and psychotherapy or counselling. The medications include tricyclic antidepressants, an older class of medications which has many side effects, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors or SNRIs.

SSRIs block the re-uptake of serotonin by presynaptic neurons so that there is an effective increase in serotonin in the brain. Depression seems to get better when there is more serotonin. The same is true of serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, which block the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Some people respond better to one class of medication while others respond to the other class of medication better. There are true norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors which also work well in some patients with depression.

Medications include:

  • Fluoxetine or Prozac
  • Zoloft
  • Paxil
  • Luvox
  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Cymbalta
  • Effexor
  • Wellbutrin

If medications don’t kick in fast enough, the person may need to be hospitalized for their safety. Suicide is a risk for patients untreated by antidepressants. It can take just a few weeks to feel better with the medication or it can take several months to feel better. Medications for depression can be taken indefinitely or can be taken for a year or two and then stopped.

Psychotherapy for depression focuses on coping with the symptoms and in controlling the negative behaviour that comes out of depression. It usually is done in conjunction with depression medications and helps patients feel better while the medication is taking effect.

SOLICITORS HELPLINE 1800 339 958