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Depression

It is in our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. 

~Aristotle 

What is Depression?

 

Depression is not simply having moments of sadness, nor is it a sign of weakness. It is neither inevitable nor is it a character flaw. It is these misconceptions that cause many individuals to suffer in silence. Rather, depression is a real mental health condition with many emotional, physical, behavioural and cognitive symptoms, for which there is a significant amount of help available. 

 

There are several different types of depression, some more familiar than others. It is important to know the differences between these varying forms of depression.

 

 

 

Major Depressive Disorder

 

What is Major Depression?

Major depression, the most common form of depression, is

characterizedby feelings of sadness, hopelessness and/or a lack of

focus on a daily or almost daily basis for a period of no less than

two weeks. These symptomsnegatively impact relationships, careers,

emotional well-being, physical well-being and other significant areas

of life causing further feelings of distress.

 

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for major depression involve?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most commonly used

treatmentfor major depression in psychotherapy. Other forms of  treatment

mayinclude Mindfulness Awareness and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

(DBT) along with the support of the therapeutic relationship.  

Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

This form of depression occurs in association with loss of daylight, as

is typical in Canadian Winters.  Also known as seasonal depression,

SAD affects between 3-5% of Canadians, with symptoms appearing first

in the Fall and waning with the arrival of Spring.                                                                                                                                                                        

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

involve?

Similar to treatment of major depression, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

(CBT) is the most commonly used treatment for SAD in psychotherapy.

Outside of psychotherapy, increasing one’s exposure to daylight can also

assist in easing the symptoms, or investing in light exposure therapy may

prove beneficial.

 

Post Partum Depression

 

What is Post Partum Depression?

After giving birth, women typically experience a normal dip in hormone

levels, resulting in “the baby blues”.  It is common for women to

experience feeling stressed, sad, anxious, lonely, tired or weepy following

their baby’s birth. But some women, up to 1 in 7, experience a much

more serious mood disorder — postpartum depression. This can be an

extremely confusing and stressful experience for new mothers.

Some of the symptoms to be aware of are feelings of guilt or worthless,

fear of being left alone with the baby, lack of interest in the baby, family

or friends, feelings of hopelessness or misery, and thoughts of hurting

yourself or the baby.                                                                                           

 

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Post Partum Depression

involve?

Treatment for Post Partum Depression involves Interpersonal Therapy and

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, along with the support of the therapeutic

relationship. As with any mental health concern, we are able to liaise with

physicians and group support networks to ensure a holistic approach is

achieved in the treatment plan.    

 

 
Bipolar Disorder

 

What is BiPolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme shifts in mood, ranging

from mania or hypomania to depression. As a result, individuals often

have difficulty managing everyday life tasks at school or work as well

as maintaining relationships. During mania, the person may feel

euphoric, impulsive, excited and full of never ending energy. Hypomania

is similar in experience to mania , but with less severity. During an

emotional low or depression the person may feel deep sadness,

hopelessness, loss of energy, lack of interest in activities they have

otherwise enjoyed, sleep disturbances and suicidal thoughts.         

There are two types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I and Bipolar II.

Bipolar I is defined by the appearance of at least one manic episode.

The individual may experience hypomanic or depressive episodes before

and after the manic episode.

Bipolar II is defined by one major depressive episode that lasts at least

two weeks, they will also have at least one hypomanic episode that lasts

about four days.                                                                                      

 

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Bipolar Disorder involve?

The most effective psychotherapeutic treatment for bipolar disorder

involves Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Psychoeducation.

Outside of psychotherapy, individuals may seek support from a

physician to determine if medication will assist in recovery.

What are the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder?

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help individuals take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

What are the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help individuals take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

What are the symptoms of Post Partum Depression?

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from Post Partum Depression. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help individuals take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

What are the symptoms of Post Partum Depression?

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from Post Partum Depression. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help individuals take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

Helping Individuals, Couples and Families Feel and Be Their Best

Abma Counselling Services has been providing counselling services in Niagara since 2008. What began as a solo practice by Steve Abma has grown into a group practice of six experienced therapists providing treatment for a wide variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, ADD, relationships, marriage, addictions & stress. We are a team of dedicated professionals, passionate about helping individuals, couples and families feel and be their best.  Serving Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, St. David's, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Virgil, Fort Erie, Ridgeway, Beamsville, Jordan, Vineland, Grimsby, Thorold and Welland.

​© Steve Abma. Published by Steve Abma.