What is Depression?
We often hear individual’s stating that they are or feel “depressed.” But what does this mean and look like?
Depression is a complex and often debilitating mental health condition affecting millions of people worldwide. In some cases, it can profoundly impact an individual’s ability to function, work, and enjoy life. Surprisingly, despite its prevalence, this medical condition is often misunderstood and stigmatized.
What Causes Depression?
Depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Research has shown that certain risk factors can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing depression. These include:
– Family history of depression or other mental health disorders
– Trauma or stressful life events (e.g., death of loved one)
– Chronic illness or chronic pain
– Substance abuse or addiction
– Hormonal changes (e.g., pregnancy or menopause)
It’s important to note that depression can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or background. However, specific populations may be more at risk, such as women, people with a history of trauma, and individuals part of a minority or oppressed group.
What are Depression Symptoms?
The signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but generally include day-to-day feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in once enjoyable activities. Other common symptoms include:
– Changes in appetite or weight
– Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
– Fatigue or lack of energy
– Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
– Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
– Thoughts of death or suicide
It’s important to note that not everyone with depression will experience all these symptoms. Additionally, some individuals may experience symptoms that are not listed here.
I am Depressed, How Can I Seek Treatment?
Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for mood disorders. The most common treatments include:
- Counselling: Talk therapy can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns, develop coping strategies, and improve relationships
- Lifestyle changes: Making positive changes to one’s diet, exercise routine, and sleep habits can help alleviate symptoms.
- Medication: Antidepressant medication can help treat depressed individuals by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain. It’s important to note that a healthcare professional should prescribe and monitor medication.
In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be most effective. It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to an individual’s specific needs.
How does Counselling Help with Depression?
Chances are, you have already tried many things to help with your depression. We know that it can feel overwhelming to try something new, like counselling when you are feeling depressed. You may be wondering if counselling can actually help with your depression, and how does it work. Counselling provides a safe and supportive environment to explore your thoughts and emotions, and has proven to be a powerful tool in the battle against depression. Here are some ways that counselling can support you in your battle with depression:
- Understanding the Roots of Depression: Counselling begins with understanding the underlying causes of your depression. A trained counsellor can help you delve into your past experiences, emotions, and thought patterns that contribute to your feelings of depression. By identifying these roots, you can start to untangle the web of depression and work towards healing.
- Emotional Support: One of the most valuable aspects of counselling is the emotional support it offers. Depression can make you feel isolated and disconnected from others, but with a compassionate therapist, you have a dedicated ally in your journey towards recovery. They provide a non-judgmental space where you can express your feelings openly and honestly.
- Developing Coping Strategies: Counselling equips you with essential coping strategies to manage your depression symptoms. Therapists teach you how to recognize negative thought patterns and replace them with healthier ones. These skills empower you to face life’s challenges with resilience and positivity. Counselling also provides a way to create a specific care plan for your depression, that is tailored to your unique needs.
- Setting Realistic Goals: Depression often saps motivation and leaves you feeling directionless. Counselling helps you set realistic goals and regain a sense of purpose in life. Therapists work with you to create a step-by-step plan to achieve your objectives, providing motivation and guidance along the way.
- Building a Support Network: Depression often leads to isolation, however we know that having a support network is important for long term health. Counselling can help you build your support network and connect with people in your life.
- Medication Management: For some individuals, a combination of counselling and medication is the most effective approach to managing depression. A skilled therapist can work closely with a psychiatrist to monitor your medication and ensure it aligns with your therapy goals.
Depression can be an overwhelming and isolating experience, but counselling offers a lifeline to recovery. Through understanding the roots of your depression, emotional support, coping strategies, goal-setting, and building a support network, you can regain control of your life and find renewed hope and happiness. Don’t hesitate to seek the help you deserve. Counselling is a powerful tool that can transform your life, guiding you towards a brighter and more fulfilling future.
Book Depression Counselling in Vancouver or Online in BC
We would love to chat with you more if any of the above information resonates with you. Know that you aren’t alone or should walk through this journey yourself. Our team of therapists would love to help support you. Katia, Sandy, & Kate work with people with depression and offer free consultation calls for online or Vancouver counselling.