What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritability and/or a loss of interest and pleasure in activities an individual previously enjoyed.
In addition to low mood and increased irritability, individuals with depression may also experience:
- Weight loss or gain
- Significant changes in sleep patterns (e.g.,trouble sleeping, excessive sleeping)
- Significant changes in appetite (e.g., eating too much, eating too little)
- Loss of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Recurrent thoughts of death, suicide, or harming oneself
When To Seek Help
- It is persistent. Symptoms have continued for at least two weeks.
- It is affecting your relationships with loved ones
- It is interfering with your ability to work
- It is causing you to feel hopeless about the future
- You are experiencing feelings of worthlessness and self-rejection
- You have noticed a significant decrease in your level of tolerance for minor frustrations
- You often turn to alcohol or substance use to cope with feelings of sadness and “numbness”
- You are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm
f you think you may be experiencing depression, seek help from a registered health professional (e.g., social worker, counsellor, psychologist, nurse, family doctor, psychiatrist).
If you are having immediate thoughts of suicide or self-harm, go directly to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital or call 9-1-1.
The following have been found to help manage some symptoms of depression:
- Regular exercise
- Eating a balanced diet
- Learning or maintaining healthy sleep habits
- Spending quality time with loved ones
- Spending time doing safe activities you enjoy
How Therapy Can Help
Therapy can help you:
- Learn skills to cope with and manage symptoms
- Identify and change negative thought patterns that may be affecting your current feelings and behaviours
- Set realistic goals and regain a sense of hope about the future
- Regain or develop a sense of self-acceptance
- Identify and respond to events that may be contributing to your depression
- Receive support and learn strategies from others who are also experiencing depression (Group Therapy)
- Receive support in addressing issues in important relationships in your life (Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Parent-Coaching)