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Depression

 

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 characterized by 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 symptoms negatively 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 treatment for major depression in psychotherapy. Other forms of  treatment may include Mindfulness Awareness and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) along with the support of the therapeutic relationship.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

 
 
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.

 

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.

 
 
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.

 
Helping Individuals, Couples and Families Feel and Be Their Best

Depression

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

~Aristotle 

Niagara Counselling, Psychologist, Psychotherapist for depression, anxiety, stress, relationship and marriage counselling,

Big problems are best solved in small pieces.

FRANK SONNENBERG