Depression

Depression Therapy & Counselling

Depression is more than simply the experience of sadness. Sadness is a normal and transient emotional reaction to life events that involve loss and disappointment. It is important to differentiate depression from sadness even though life events can trigger depression in some cases. Depression involves significant changes in a person’s sleep patterns, physical complaints, and ability to think. These changes combined with a sad, empty, or irritable mood interfere with a person’s ability to function in daily life.
 

Key points

  • 10–15% of men and 15–25% of women will experience clinical or major depression during their lifetime
  •  Evidence-based psychotherapy is as effective as medication for mild to moderate depression.
  • The average depressive episode is six to eight months. 
  • Approximately 80% of people treated for major depression will have more than one depressive episode during their lives.
  • Common subtypes of depression:
    • Persistent depressive disorder is a chronic condition where depressed mood occurs most of the day for at least a year in children and two or more years in adults
    • Major depressive disorder includes a significant change in sleep patterns, physical complaints, and thinking that is accompanied by a sad, empty, or irritable mood for at least two weeks. 
    • Depression with psychosis involves losing touch with reality - a person may experience hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing people or objects that are not there) or delusions (beliefs that have no basis in reality).
    • Seasonal affective disorder is usually linked to changes in the weather and seasons.
    • Postpartum depression occurs in both men and women after the birth of a child.


Factors that Influence Depression

Depression can result from genetic factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both. People who have a family history of depression and mental health concerns, people who have experienced trauma, and people with certain medical conditions are at greater risk for developing depression than the general population.
 

Treatment

Talk therapy has been shown to be just as effective as medication in addressing mild and moderate depression. Therapy sessions can help a person experiencing depression to identifying issues, negative beliefs, and behaviors that may be contributing to their distress, develop healthy coping skills and lifestyle habits, and improve relationships. 

Medication can be used in conjunction with talk therapy to treat depression. Medications used to treat depression typically fall into three categories: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
 

Next Steps

If you are concerned about your own or your child's mental health Edgar Psychological can help. 
 

Psychologists that Specialize in Depression

References

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). (2018). Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia).Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/persistent-depressive-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350935

Portico. (2018). Depression quick reference. Retrieved from Protico Canada's Mental Health & Addiction Network: https://www.porticonetwork.ca/treatments/disorders-qr/disorders/d-o/depression/depression-treatment