Do you look fine on the outside but feel low on the inside?

finding it hard to get out of bed? get Through the day?

Do Your feel lost, empty and Dissatisfied with your life, job or relationships?

Feeling Down and Disengaged From Life Is Normal

We all experience periods of feeling blue, disappointed and sad at some point in our lives.  These feelings are normal reactions to life challenges and often abate with time.   Describing these everyday feelings as  'depression' contributes to the mistaken belief that clinical depression can be prevented or overcome with just positive thinking and actions.

What is Depression?

Depression is a clinical term which describes a combination of emotional, physical and behavioural symptoms that are intense, prolonged and disruptive to a person's ability to fully function and enjoy life.  There are different types of depression including:

  • Major Depression: Or simply ‘depression’, involves deep, persistent feelings of sadness that may disrupt day-to-day functioning.

  • Bipolar Depression: Shifts in mood, thinking and behaviour ranging from low depression to extreme mania with with normal moods in between.

  • Post-Partum Depression: Persistent low mood following childbirth that can impact a mother’s ability to care for or bond with her baby

  • Dysthymia: Milder but more persistent form of depression considered less severe but more chronic than major depression

  • Seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D): Depression triggered by changes in seasons especially during the fall/winter months with symptoms improving in the spring.

Reaching Out for Support Early Can Prevent Depression From Getting Worse.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

The signs and symptoms of depression come in many forms and are not always easy to detect.  They vary from person to person, depending on factors such as age, culture, gender, life experiences and current circumstances.  While intense sadness, or low moods, are defining features other common signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent or recurring feelings of sadness, hopelessness and helplessness

  • Changes in appetite 

  • Changes in sleep habits 

  • Feelings of fatigue and exhaustion

  • Impaired concentration and difficulty making decisions

  • Loss of interests in activities usually enjoyed

  •  Irritability and anger

  •  Physical symptoms of nausea, aches and pains

  •  Feelings of guilt, shame, lack of self-worth

  •  Withdrawal and isolation from relationships

  •  Misuse of alcohol, drugs, and other unhealthy methods of coping

  • Preoccupation with death, dying or suicide

What Causes Depression?

Depression is not a character flaw, moral failing or a sign of personal weakness.  Depression affects people from all backgrounds.  Its causes are attributed to a variety of factors such as:

  • Genetics or family history

  • Brain chemistry

  • Hormonal changes

  • Difficult life events and challenges, (e.g. divorce, financial stability, betrayal)

  • Trauma, (e.g. domestic violence, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, adverse childhood experiences)

  • Grief and loss – especially when sudden

How Can Counselling and Therapy For Depression Help?

The good news is that depression is highly manageable with the help of an experienced therapist.  Many clients who get the right combination of professional and personal support go on to lead healthy and meaningful lives.  At Counselling Associates, our team of highly trained therapists will work with you to tailor a plan for managing your depression that supports your individualized needs and therapy goals.  This may involve working in collaboration with you to:

  • Identify the underlying causes of your depression   

  • Determine how best to change, accept or adapt to challenging situations

  • Uncover and refine existing strengths 

  • Develop skills for coping and managing emotions, thoughts and behaviours 

  • Connect to wider systems of support

  • Improve interpersonal relationships

Depression Is More Common Than You Think. You are Not Alone!

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care estimates that 1 in 4 Canadians will experience depression in their lifetime. If you think you might be suffering with symptoms of depression, we are here to help!  Whether you are experiencing a vague feeling of dissatisfaction, seasonal blues, postpartum or clinical depression, we will work with you to make transformative and sustainable changes.   

Every Moment Is A Fresh Beginning
— T.S. Elliott