We offer online counselling for clients all throughout Alberta.
Are you not feeling like yourself?
Have you been feeling sad, low or just “off” recently? Do you feel a lack of motivation? Or are you experiencing mood swings, especially bouts of sadness that you cannot explain? Does the feeling of exhaustion bother you even though you are not exerting yourself too much? Do you feel less interested in things that you used to love to do? Is your appetite different than usual? Are you feeling guilty? Are you struggling to concentrate on the smallest of tasks? If this is how you have been feeling for an extended period, it’s possible you’re experiencing depression.
What is depression?
According to statistics, depression is the second most common mental health issue. Depression is a multifaceted disorder and there is not a single cause, but instead, many potential reasons why it might develop. It can be said that a combination of biological, genetic, social and psychological factors are contributing factors behind this mood disorder.
One can experience depression for several reasons. It could be a result of a significant life event. For instance, going through a divorce, getting fired from a job, undergoing physical health problems or caring for close friends and family suffering from a long-term illness. What's more, trauma can also drastically increase the chances of depression in a person. Research suggests that when human beings undergo trauma, the experience can lead to critical structural changes in the brain in the first few years of the event. As a result of which the person is more susceptible to depression.
Common symptoms of depression
Some of the common symptoms of depression are - feeling sad for long periods for no apparent reason, low motivation, reduced energy, experiencing feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and or helplessness and loss of interest in activities that once were pleasurable to you. Many of those who are depressed also experience guilt, shame, inadequacy, anger, irritation, and anxiety.
Physically, depression can lead to weight gain or weight loss, poor sleep or too much sleep, disrupted concentration at work or home, frequent headaches, body aches and pain, and digestive and sexual-related problems. More importantly, depression can also result in thoughts of self-harm or death or suicide.
These are some of the most common depressive symptoms, and, likely, you are not experiencing all of them. Depression presents itself in different types and degrees, varying from person to person. Regardless of this, if you can recognize some of the symptoms mentioned here, you might benefit from support. But before you start feeling worried reading this and assuming the worst, you must know that help is not only available, but depression is treatable.
The path of help & hope
There are many options for treatment of depression and sometimes a combination of medication and therapy is warranted. Most clients benefit from therapy approaches that allow a person to feel their feelings, explore new ways of seeing the world and step by step pull themselves out of the depressed state.
Some of the most effective treatments for depression are as follows:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This technique successfully treats depression by focusing on everyday experience and targeting your negative beliefs, unhelpful behaviours and their impact on your feelings and life. When using CBT in therapy, you learn to think and behave differently to reduce your depression.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): It is helpful to reduce depression. The premise of ACT is that it requires you to identify your values in life and match your actions according to those values.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT): This therapy focuses on resolving conflicts that further depression. Hence, IPT is an effective tool in improving relationships.
Solution-focused therapy: This technique aims to help the person experiencing depression by focusing on their strength. It helps to inculcate feelings of positivity.
Additionally, it teaches you skills that contribute towards finding solutions to your different problems and stresses.
Dealing with depression
It might feel like you are alone in this world dealing with this mood disorder. Of course, the challenge around this condition can make anyone feel alone in these experiences. But nothing could be further from the truth. Statistics show that one in eight Canadians is affected by major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression or depression at some point in their lives. So, even though you might feel alone, the truth is that depression is a common mental health condition with readily available help.
People living with this mood disorder can indeed tend to struggle due to this mental health condition's physical and emotional manifestation. And the fact that depression can vary in types and degrees from person to person can further make it complex and harder to identify. However, the essential thing to focus on is that depression is treatable irrespective of its effects. There is help out there, and you do not need to suffer alone. So, it doesn't matter whether your low mood is related to a recent big move to a new city or due to a relationship ending or having a baby. What's more, you may find that you are experiencing some of the symptoms even though no major event has occurred in your life. And that's perfectly fine as well. You need not stress about this. But gently remind yourself that no matter what the cause, you don't have to feel trapped by this sense of doom and gloom. And with the right help, feeling better is entirely possible.
Unsure about asking for help?
You may have concerns about seeking therapy for depression.
I don't think my depression is that bad. I think I am coping just alright.
The fact that you have been dealing with it all by yourself and still haven’t found a long-term solution or a way to feel better is a sign that you might benefit from taking that first step towards the right help. It can feel daunting, even overwhelming, but at Ward & Associates, we will be your ally on this journey of your healing. At every step, you will find us supporting you positively and encouragingly. Sadly, untreated depression can be dangerous as it can immensely impact the quality of your professional and personal life. In some severe cases of depression, it's not unusual to experience hearing voices or having thoughts of self-harming or even suicide.
Depression is a sign of weakness. And I am not weak.
Firstly, depression is a mood disorder that can impact anyone. Secondly, it is most definitely not a sign of weakness. Experiencing depressive episodes or feeling low or sad is never a sign of weakness. Instead, it indicates something more complex or unresolved within you that needs attention. It’s important to be kind and not judgemental when dealing with yourself at this point. Please remember that it is not your fault that you are feeling low, numb or sad. With the proper help, you will learn to successfully navigate your feelings and find a way to heal yourself.
At Ward & Associates, we believe that a positive alliance is imperative for any healing to take place. Ours is an approach that is based on the individual needs and requirements of our clients. Together, we will begin this healing journey where you will find us at every step with you, whether it's setting your personal goals or learning the skills that ensure your growth. Our trained therapists at Ward & Associates are competent, sensitive and encouraging with a client-centric approach. The therapy sessions aim to provide you with a safe and supported space where your healing and wellbeing can take precedence.
It is beneficial to remind yourself that depression is not a weakness and it is not your fault. It is a treatable illness. If you reach out for help, we promise to be there for you.
If you're looking for depression counselling Sherwood Park, Ward & Associates Psychological Services is here for you. We specialize in individual counselling for adults, teens, and children and couples counselling and trauma counselling for first responders. We also offer online therapy for clients residing in Alberta. Contact us to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.