Put simply, depression is typically a combination of hopelessness and helplessness. There are many possible symptoms of depression including changes in sleeping or eating patterns, poor concentration, indecisiveness, and loss of interest in hobbies, work, family or friendships. Other symptoms can be a pervasive feeling of sadness, physical aches and pains, fatigue, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness.
The despair of depression is so difficult to cope with that it often creates negative effects in many different areas of one's life, including their emotions, their relationships (of many varieties – social, professional, family, romantic), their physical health and their work/school. People who are depressed often feel like they are struggling to function in their lives or living in a 'black hole'.
I help people overcome depression by using a variety of therapeutic strategies and interventions:
- changing negative thought patterns and belief systems
- processing and coming to terms with past negative life events (including trauma and abuse)
- building self-esteem, assertiveness, and communication skills
- setting goals to start engaging in meaningful and pleasurable activities
- ensuring that exercise, sleep, nutrition and other physical health factors are being taken care of
Depression can sometimes occur concurrently with one or a variety of anxiety disorders, so an assessment of depressive symptoms often includes an assessment for the presence of anxiety as well. If anxety is present, treatment is then expanded to include interventions designed to resolve both problems.
Depression may sometimes lead people to feel so despairing that they begin to contemplate or plan attempts to commit suicide. If you are worried about your own suicidal thoughts or intentions, or those of someone else, please call the Distress Centre at 403 266 HELP (4357) or go to the nearest emergency room. In an emergency, please call 911.