The word “depression” is often used to describe the common feeling of sadness or the blues. Everyone experiences occasional days of feeling down due to the weather, disagreements with loved ones, lack of sleep, or other setbacks. However, most times we can bounce back from day to day challenges. If you find that these feelings last longer than usual, and they are hindering your ability to function, you may be suffering from depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a common mood disorder, meaning it affects the way a person feels. Feelings associated with depression include sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, anxiousness, irritability, and anger. A person may stop doing the things that once brought joy and they often withdraw from others. This self-imposed isolation can increase feelings of depression, which can then make it harder to recover. Depression can affect one’s ability to concentrate, lead to sleep disturbance, and negatively affect one’s health.
What causes depression?
Many factors can contribute to the development of depression. Sometimes it can be situational, such as grief, relationship problems, financial strain, unemployment, or other stressful life experiences. Loneliness, isolation, and lack of social support can cause depression, particularly in seniors or new mothers. There is a heredity link, meaning that you have a greater risk for depression if a close family member suffered from depression. Trauma or abuse can also be a contributing factor.
What treatments are available?
If you suspect you are suffering from depression, there is hope! First, make an appointment to see your doctor to rule out physical causes of depression. Your doctor might want to prescribe medication which helps some people manage their moods more effectively. Counselling is another way to treat depression. A counsellor will use tried and tested strategies (such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Mindfulness) to help you function and to bring joy back into your days. If you think Theberge Counselling can help, contact us to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation.
If you are feeling suicidal?
Depression can often seem overwhelming and permanent. Losing hope may lead to feeling that life is no longer worth living or that others would be better off without you. Please, I urge you to seek help. With time and support you will feel better! There are many people who want to support you during this challenging time, so please reach out!
Call the 24 hour distress centre: 403-266-HELP (403-266-4357).
Call 911 or proceed to the emergency room of your nearest hospital.