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Counselling for Depression
Are you feeling sad, empty, or hopeless? It’s important to know that you are NOT alone.
Everyone feels down from time to time, but when these feelings begin to impact our daily activities, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on.
Major Depressive Disorder is a common mental health condition that can impact nearly every area of functioning. People of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience depression.
Many people live with their symptoms of depression for years before seeking help. If you think you might be depressed, book a consultation with one of our mental health specialists who can help you better manage and overcome this condition.
What Does Depression Feel Like?
Depression is a complicated disorder because each person can experience an array of different symptoms.
Many people with depression will find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, begin activities, and muster up the motivation to do daily tasks. It can feel as though life has lost its flavour. You may have thoughts such as “I can’t go on like this”.
Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:
Feeling down or sad for most of the day every day
Loss of interest or pleasure in things you once found enjoyable (i.e., hobbies)
Irritability (may be present instead of a sad mood in children and adolescents)
Difficulties with sleeping- such as problems falling asleep or oversleeping
Changes in appetite- such as overeating or under-eating
Fatigue or lack of energy
Feelings of guilt or low self-worth
Thoughts of wanting to die or disappear
People can experience mild, moderate, or severe depression. Just because you can still go about your daily life doesn’t mean you don’t need help.
Depression can make you feel overwhelmed by the activities of daily life. It is common for people with one depressive episode to experience more episodes. Depression can also cause symptoms of pre-existing conditions like arthritis, and digestive issues to worsen. Without an effective treatment plan, in some people, depression can become a chronic and debilitating disorder.
Will Depression Go Away if I Don’t Seek Help?
Many people delay seeking help because they believe depression will go away. Unfortunately, clinical depression is a complex issue with a variety of possible causes, and it is unlikely to go away without some form of treatment. Additionally, people with depression often withdraw from their social networks and find it hard to engage in activities that could make them feel better. Finding effective support to navigate the clinical symptoms of depression is always recommended.
I’m Just a Little Sad- Do I Need Help?
Depression can vary from mild to severe. Even if you don’t meet criteria for major depressive disorder, you will still benefit from therapy. Learning how to effectively manage negative thoughts and learning effective coping mechanisms in therapy could potentially help prevent a future depressive episode. If nothing else, it will improve your stress management and quality of life.
Is it Grief or Depression?
In some cases, you may be experiencing a depressive episode in response to a specific situation. This is called situational depression. It is common for people to experience situational depression in response to losing a loved one, break-ups, or other traumatic experiences. Normal grief loosens its grip over time and gets more bearable. Situational depression often feels like experiencing grief that won’t subside, even after a long period of time has passed.
What Causes Depression?
First of all, it is crucial to know that depression is not your fault. There is no single cause of depression. Depression may develop due to a combination of factors such as:
Family history: You are at a higher risk of developing depression if you have a family member with depression or another mood disorder.
Exposure to Trauma: Trauma experienced in childhood, such as physical or sexual abuse, can increase your likelihood of developing a depressive disorder. You may also become depressed after experiencing major life changes, stress, or trauma later in life.
Biochemical Factors: Depression can often feel like an invisible force. Brain scans have shown us that depression is associated with changes in brain chemistry and architecture. The resulting imbalances affect essential functions like sleep and mood.
Medical Conditions: Certain conditions such as stroke, insomnia, hormonal disorders, or chronic pain are all associated with depression.
Environmental Factors: Characteristics of your environment may increase your risk of depression or make symptoms worse. Some environmental risks include difficult relationships, financial problems, poor support system, instability, and daily stress.
It is important to remember that developing depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a complex condition that impacts our physiological functioning. Like other health conditions, such as asthma, receiving clinical intervention for depression is imperative to managing symptoms, and improving your life.
How is Depression Treated?
Depression can be treated with counselling, medications, or both. There are also lifestyle changes that can be made to support your recovery.
Counselling & Therapy for Depression
Family history: You are at a higher risk of developing an eating disorder if you have a family member with disordered eating, depression, or anxiety disorders.
Exposure to Trauma: Trauma experienced in childhood, such as physical or sexual abuse, can increase your likelihood of developing an eating disorder. You may also develop an eating disorder after experiencing major life changes, stress, or trauma later in life.
Biochemical Factors: Eating disorders may be associated with dysfunction in brain areas associated with feeling full, which may play an important role in binge-eating. Chemical imbalances such as low serotonin and hormone imbalances also appear to contribute to eating disorders.
Psychological Factors: Having traits such as perfectionism, body image dissatisfaction, anxiety, and rigid thinking can increase the risk of developing an eating disorder.
Environmental Factors: Characteristics of your environment may increase your risk of eating disorders or make symptoms worse. Some environmental risks include teasing, difficult relationships, a history of dieting, poor support system, instability, and daily stress. People who participate in sports like ballet, gymnastics, or wrestling that focus on body mass may also have an increased risk.
Eating disorders are complicated and develop over time. It is more than just a diet and can feel like it has taken over your life. It is important to remember that developing an eating disorder is not a sign of weakness, and it can happen to anyone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Receiving clinical intervention for your disordered eating is imperative to managing symptoms and improving your life.
Counselling & Therapy for Depression
Therapy is one of the most effective treatments for building long-lasting strategies to help you cope with the symptoms of depression. Therapy is not a temporary fix for depression. You will work with your therapist to learn effective coping mechanisms and tools you can use long after your sessions have ended.
Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are very effective for the treatment of depressive disorders. CBT is also helpful for anxiety, which commonly accompanies depression. Many of the ways we interpret events and deal with our problems can be unhelpful or even harmful to our well-being. In CBT, your therapist will work with you to identify any negative thinking or behavioural patterns and help you learn more helpful ways of viewing your world and tackling your problems.
The team at Life in Harmony is committed to providing you with the absolute best treatment to help you deal with your depression. Our team is experienced, diverse, and offers an array of treatment approaches that can be specifically tailored to your needs.
If you have experienced trauma, our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn effective tools for overcoming them.
Reach out today to book a session with one of our therapists and let a trained professional help you navigate your symptoms and find ways to improve your life.
Other Types of Depression
Major depressive disorder is the most common type of depression. Other types of depression include:
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): This type of depression has symptoms less severe than major depression but is very chronic. If you have persistent sadness for two years or longer, you may want to talk to a mental health professional about persistent depressive disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): When your depression occurs only during winter months when the days are shorter and the nights are longer, you may have SAD.
Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression: Sometimes, depression is associated with pregnancy and childbirth. This form of depression usually gets worse in the days and weeks after delivery and can be quite severe.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): PMDD is a form of depression that generally occurs at the beginning of a menstrual cycle and recurs monthly.
Reactive or Situational Depression: Depression that occurs in response to a difficult life event.
Bipolar Depression: A person diagnosed with bipolar disorder may experience phases of depressive episodes.
Atypical Depression: Depression that is characterized by symptoms such as increased appetite, extreme sensitivity to rejection, and oversleeping. This depression is “atypical” because people will experience a temporary mood lift in response to positive news or events.
Counselling for Depression in Vaughan, Woodbridge & Greater Toronto Area
We are the largest counselling service provider in the Vaughan and Woodbridge area with over 15 years of experience. Our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn effective tools for overcoming them. We offer cutting edge counselling and coaching to individuals, families, and couples.