Live the fab life

027 Dealing with depression | Susan Noonan MD

Talking about it will help to normalise things because then the person begins to understand that depression is a legitimate illness
— Susan Noonan MD -

In an authentic way Susan bridges the space between being a recipient and a provider of mental health services. This makes her a wonderfully compassionate doctor to her patients and her firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to live with a mood disorder is heartening. She shares her insights and wisdom on this often debilitating and challenging illness from both the person dealing with depression and from the people living with them.

Inspire yourself with these essential insights from Susan

Dr Susan Noonan MD
  • We spoke about 

  • A unique perspective as patient, physician, author, blogger and certified peer specialist on mental health issues

  • Susan becoming an expert by experience

  • The importance of having a treatment team on your side and access to mental health education

  • Ways to support someone dealing with depression

  • Asking direct questions to determine the need and urgency for getting professional help

  • Depression as a biologically based condition involving the mind and the body

  • When someone refuses treatment for depression

  • Having an open minded supportive conversation about depression

  • Caring for yourself to avoid burnout when living with someone with a mood disorder

  • Recovery from depression as an ongoing process with fluctuations

  • Applying the basics of mental health and wellbeing

  • Sleep as a critical recovery tool for mental health

  • Differences in symptoms between teenagers and adults

  • Susan’s book “When someone you know has depression”

  • Balance and a degree of organisation to living fabulously

Value Quotes 

“Persistence and perseverance was really the hallmark of my life”

“For most of the time my depression went untreated because that’s the way things were done in my family”

“I had an extraordinary treatment team who held hope for me when I had absolutely none”

“It seemed then to make most sense to share what I had learned about the illness with others”

“Family members and close friends are often the first ones to recognise any subtle changes that occur”

“You want to provide hope and realistic expectations for your family member”

“Try not to promise anything that you can’t deliver”

“It often leads to some distortions in our thinking which the person who has depression doesn’t often recognise”

“Try to understand what’s behind the person’s thinking for refusing treatment and try to address those issues”

“Begin by reassuring them that you love them and are concerned for them. Point out the concrete things that are different in the person that are different from their usual state”

“Talking about it will help to normalise things because then the person begins to understand that depression is a legitimate illness”

“You can have the illness and people don’t judge you for it and don’t criticise you for having it. You’re not less of a person for happening to have this illness”

“Burnout refers to the symptoms and the emotions you have from caring for someone”

“Episodes of depression may come as a random pattern that is unique to each person”

“Don’t allow the depression to consume him or her, it’s not what defines you it’s just something you happen to have”

“Sound sleep optimised brain function and has a positive effect on your mood disorder”

“A change in the amount of your sleep or the quality of your sleep will definitely affect your illness most definitely”

“It’s a myth to think you can catch up on your sleep”

“Suicide is usually considered an impulsive action in a troubled person who sees no way to change their painful circumstances”

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Until next time fabulous podcast listener, I’m Bev and I invite you to live the fab life with me now! 

Episode Links 

You can find Dr Susan Noonan MD at:

Website: :

If you experiencing a personal crisis help is available by calling Lifeline Australia on 131114 or find resources at