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Depression Therapy Available to You in Toronto

What is Depression?

We’ve all said “I’m depressed,” after a personal disappointment or major life event that left us feeling sad. But clinical depression (also called major depressive disorder), is something very different. Depression causes persistent feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It’s a common and serious illness that negatively affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression is also a chronic condition, and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems which decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. People with depression may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes even feel as if life isn’t worth living.
Teen Depression

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased food cravings and weight gain
  • Feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem or guilt
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Sometimes depression is accompanied by suicidal thoughts or feelings. It is important to assess suicide risk as part of depression treatment. If you are feeling suicidal it’s essential to seek help immediately by telling someone, talking to your doctor, calling a distress line or going to the emergency room at your nearest hospital. If you’re concerned about someone who is struggling with depression, simply asking that person if they have any thoughts of dying can be helpful. They may even relived to talk about it. Any time a person expresses suicidal thoughts, it’s critical for that person to be assessed immediately. A family doctor, hospital emergency room or mental health profession can perform an initial risk assessment, and create a safety plan. As a support person or caregiver, you can also call distress lines, and get advice on how to keep your loved one safe.

Children and teens

Young people are also susceptible to depression, but may lack the vocabulary or self awareness to accurate describe how they are feeling. As a result, for kids and teens, depression can contribute to internalizing and externalizing problems. This results in behaviors such as:

  • School refusal
  • Bullying, aggressive behavior and irritability
  • Poor academic performance
  • Difficulty with emotional regulation

All of these childhood and teenage behaviors are linked to later mental health issues as an adult, so it’s important to treat them early.

How Does Anxiety Affect Your Day-to-Day Life?

For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why. And while it can suddenly go into remission, depression is not something that people can just “get over”.

Treatment for Depression

Treatment for depression is available and is effective. Talk therapy helps clients focus on expressing difficult emotions, creating a support system and taking small breaks from the depression. It’s also important to address overall health, like nutrition, sleep and exercise (or spending time outside), since all of these contribute to or exacerbate low mood. Talk therapy can take some time, often six months to over a year. But treatment is critical to long-term health, and should not be limited to medication alone.

Don’t Give Up Hope! Depression can be Treated

Similar to other long-term illness such as diabetes, clinical depression can be effectively managed and controlled over a person’s lifetime. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of people with depression will overcome it.

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The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you are not

– unknown​

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