what is depression?

Depression is a "whole-body" illness, involving behaviour, emotion, and thoughts. Depression may result from a single traumatic life event, numerous cumulative life problems and personal disappointments over time, or without any obvious life crisis


Depression can last for short or long periods of time, depending on the person, the circumstances, and the support available. Therapy can help to end the depression more quickly.


Many people do not realize that they are depressed, or they wait too long to get treatment.  Yet 1 out of 20 people experience depression in their lifetime. It is much more common than people think!

Remember, DEPRESSION IS TREATABLE!


One of the difficulties in recognizing depression in oneself is that depression  hinders a person so they may no longer be able to adapt effectively, hence, producing negative thoughts that tend to cause the individual to believe that nothing can be done to alleviate their problems. As a result, many individuals with depression are not diagnosed, do not receive treatment, and cope within their best means.


Coping mechanisms may compound the depression by using alcohol, other substances, or suicide. Men have a higher tendency to cope with alcohol consumption, and men tend to disguise depression through anger and aggression. Women tend to cope by overeating or sleeping.


Depression can be caused by stress, a loss, or a major disappointment. Sometimes, it seems to happen for no particular reason at all. Depression can be the result of a chemical imbalance in a person's body, and some people are born with a built-in tendency to become depressed.


Depression affects all aspects of your life: relationships, school, work, family, friendships, and physical health.


There are different types of depression:

      Clinical Depression symptoms are listed to the right under “Common signs of Depression”.

    Seasonal Affect Disorder (S.A.D) is typically associated with the winter.

    Bipolar Affect Disorder is when a person experiences separate cycles of depression followed by exaggerated happiness or elation.

    Postpartum Depression affects up to 20% of mothers and may involve intense and irrational feelings of fear, believing that they may be unfit to be a mother, fear others may think she is bad mother, and feel that she is loosing her mind. Many women hesitate to seek help, yet there are treatments available to help. There are different types of postpartum depression: baby blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis. You are not to blame.

Help is just a phone call away.


CHILDREN/TEENS AND DEPRESSION

    Children do not know what depression is; additionally, they may tend to think that no one understands their problems or feels the same way. As adults, we may not see how difficult a child’s problems may be to them, yet for many children they feel depression much the same way as adults, although they may express symptoms differently. Children and teens experience stress and challenges in which they may feel overwhelmed.


    Try to encourage your child to talk to you about how they feel and what is bothering them. It may be helpful to talk to your children’s teachers to see if they have noticed any change in behaviour and mood. If you suspect that your child is depressed talk to your family doctor and seek professional help from a social worker or therapist.


    As a parent it is important to explore how your child’s depression affects you. It is important for your child to feel supported, so a family or individual session may also occur to help parents and other siblings process their feelings and learn supporting strategies.

 

11 TIPS TO HELP WITH DEPRESSION:

  1. 1.Break large tasks into small, manageable pieces.  Set some priorities and do what you can, as you can.

  2. 2.Do not set difficult goals for yourself or take on additional responsibilities. Often, it may be difficult to complete regular tasks.

  3. 3.Do not expect too much from yourself too soon, as this will only increase feelings of failure.

  4. 4.Try to be with other people; it is usually better than being alone.

  5. 5.Force yourself to participate in activities that may make you feel better.

  6. 6.Try engaging in mild exercise, going to a movie, sporting event, religious or social activities.

  7. 7.Do not over do it or get upset if your mood is not greatly improved right away. Feeling better takes time.

  8. 8.Do not make major life decisions such as: changing jobs, getting married or divorced, without consulting others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation. In any case, it is advisable to postpone important decisions until your depression has lifted.

  9. 9.Do not expect to snap out of your depression. People rarely do. Help yourself as much as you can and do not blame yourself for not being up to par.

  10. 10.Do not accept your negative thinking! It is part of the depression and will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.

  11. 11.Get help from a professional. No matter how much you want to beat it yourself, a social worker or therapist can help you recover faster.


Click here for more information on DEPRESSION.


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about Depression.

Common Signs of Depression

IN ADULTS:

  1. feelings of sadness most of the time

  2. don’t enjoy usual activities

  3. change in appetite/weight

  4. change in sleep patterns

  5. don’t feel well rested in morning

  6. feeling restless or sluggish

  7. feelings or worthlessness or guilt

  8. difficulty making decisions or concentrating

  9. thoughts of suicide or death

  10. decreased sex drive

  11. avoiding other people/isolating self



Common Signs of Depression IN TEENAGERS AND CHILDREN:

  1. changes in behaviour

  2. decreased participation in activities

  3. becoming quiet or withdrawn

  4. grades declining

  5. changes in feelings (i.e. sad, fearful, helpless, hopeless, lonely, rejected, worried, guilty, angry)

  6. physical changes (complain of headaches, stomach aches, general aches and pains, lack of energy, sleep/eating problems, feel tired most of the time).

  7. changes in thinking (low self-esteem, self-dislike, self-blame, difficulty concentrating, negative thoughts, thoughts of death or suicide).

  8. changes in behaviour (withdrawn from others, cry easily, decreased interest in sports/games/other activities they normally enjoyed, over-reacting, sudden outbursts of anger or tears over small incidents).

  9. feel that they are disliked by everyone.

“All that we are is a result of what we have thought. What we think we become.”   

~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi




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