Depression Symptoms & Treatment

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What Is Depression?

Depression is a common mental health condition.  It causes someone to experience intense sadness and loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed.  These feelings may be difficult to overcome.

It is important to recognize the difference between being sad and a depression disorder. A depression disorder is persistent and negatively impacts an ability to function at home or work.

Everyone experiences mild periods of sadness from losing a loved one or ending a relationship or career challenges. But being sad is not the same as clinical depression. People with clinical depression experience a lack of interest in activities that lasts at least two weeks. It is often also accompanied by lower self-esteem.

Symptoms Of Depression

Do you (or a loved one) relate to any of the following situations?

  • Are you feeling consistently sad or hopeless?
  • Do you have little or no interest in activities that you used to enjoy?
  • Have you had changes in your sleep (either trouble sleeping or sleeping too much)?
  • Do you feel less energetic or more consistently tired?
  • Do you find yourself fixated on the past and blaming yourself?
  • Have you had changes in appetite (weight loss or gain) unrelated to dieting?
  • Does your mood change interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
  • Do you have difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions?
  • Have you had frequent thoughts of death, harming yourself or suicide?
  • Have you had memory difficulties or personality changes?

If you identify with a majority of the above and they just won’t go away, you (or your loved one) may be suffering from depression.

The "feelings" associated with depression are often accompanied by a range of physical symptoms.  These typically include:

  • Unexplained physical aches or pains
  • Decreased pain tolerance
  • Fatigue or consistently lower energy levels
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems or upset stomach
  • Vision challenges

Common Depression Disorders

Depression disorders and conditions closely related include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder can be when someone has consistently experienced many of the symptoms above for at least two weeks. 
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder is when depression lasts for two years or longer. 
  • Bipolar Disorder (sometimes called "manic depression") is when someone has wide mood swings, from highs of extreme energy to lows of major depression.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD )is a form of major depression that most often occurs during winter months when the days become shorter and people experience less sunlight.

  • Postpartum Depression can occur in the weeks and months after a woman gives birth. 

Depression disorders are a common mental health illness in Canada.  It is estimated that 1 in 8 adult Canadians will meet the criteria for depression during their lifetime and 5.4% in any given year.  More than half of people who experience a major depressive episode will have a recurrence. 

Causes Of Depression Disorders

Depression can affect anyone and the exact causes are not clear always clear.  A combination of factors may increase the risk of becoming clinically depressed.  Experts have identified several risk factors:

  • Genetics: if someone in your family has a depressive disorder, you have a greater risk of developing one too. Your risk is especially high if you have a parent with depression.
  • Personality type: some people are more prone to depression. People with low self-esteem, who are easily stressed or who are generally pessimistic are at greater risk of developing a depressive disorder.
  • Environment: Frequent exposure to violence, abuse or neglect may increase one's vulnerability to depression.

Depression Treatment Options

Depression disorders are highly treatable. Therapy, counselling, and support can help you or a loved one learn how to better manage symptoms and improve their quality of life.    

Boreal Wellness Centres offers different types of therapy including individual counselling, couples counselling, family therapy and group therapy in an environment that is safe and supportive. Our therapeutic approach will help you (or your loved one) with:

  • understanding the symptoms of depression
  • identifying the sources of depression
  • developing healthy coping strategies
  • building resiliency and strength 

Our Resilient LivingTM depression group therapy programs include cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise, diet education, mindfulness training, and medication education.  People with depression disorders often benefit from the structure and behavioural activation provided by a group setting.

Let Us Help

Depression disorders are highly treatable and the outlook is good for anyone who receives evidence-based care.  Most people can learn to manage and reduce depression and restore function in their lives.

We have mental health therapists available to help you (or a loved one) with depression and mood challenges.  We offer individual depression counselling, couples counselling and group therapy treatment.  Our Resilient LivingTM group therapy programs are unique.  They use a multidisciplinary approach to develop insights and build skills.  These tools help clients manage their depression and mood disorders.  

Resilient LivingTM Virtual Group

Our Resilient LivingTM Virtual Group Program for Anxiety and Depression is delivered using secure video conference technology, which makes it accessible to people living anywhere in British Columbia.

This program consists of 20 sessions, each 3 hours in length, over 10 weeks.  The 3 hour sessions are a combination of group psychotherapy and a rotation of mindfulness, nutrition, fitness and medication education.

This Virtual Group is for people with moderate or moderate-severe depression and/or anxiety.  The program uses cognitive behavioural (CBT) curriculum and includes topics such as: 

  • understanding how to change negative patterns of thinking
  • how to avoid mind traps
  • understanding and managing emotions
  • importance of behavioural activation
  • managing relationships

For more information on eligibility criteria and start times, please contact us.  Pricing information is available here.  To start the intake process please complete an inquiry form.