What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness that last longer than normal. Depression symptoms can present as a bad mood that a person just can’t seem to shake. It is surprisingly common and due to some unfortunate stigma around it, depression can often go undiagnosed and untreated. We’ve included a link to a standardized depression test in this blog post. Treatment for depression is available at Remedy Wellness Centre in Victoria and online throughout BC.
If you are experiencing depression, you’re not alone, and you should know that it is a very treatable condition. In fact, 1 in 6 people will experience an episode, and it affects people of all ages, races and genders.
There are a wide range of symptoms that fall under the umbrella of clinical depression, which may be emotional, physical, behavioral and psychological.
Emotional: you could feel irritable, sad and generally down. Perhaps you just don’t care about things as much as you usually do, and find it hard to be motivated.
Physical: you may be excessively tired as the body slows down, and are perhaps experiencing some sleep disturbance. You may find it’s hard to concentrate and your thoughts are more and more negative.
Behavioral: you may tend to withdraw from regular activities and responsibilities.
People experiencing depression can be very hard on themselves, and may have feelings of hopelessness. On the extreme of the spectrum of symptoms, some people have thoughts of not wanting to live.
If you can relate to these thoughts, it’s very important that you seek help by reaching out to a resource like the Vancouver Island Crisis Line.
Each persons experience will be unique and may have some but not all of the possible symptoms listed above. It’s important to get a diagnosis from a qualified medical professional, as an underlying medical condition could be part of the picture.
If you suspect you are experiencing depression, we encourage you to complete The Beck Depression Survey, a standardized depression test used across all mental health industries to assess depression symptoms.
What Causes Depression?
It is caused by a combination of factors and circumstances that may be social, biological and psychological. Genetics can be a factor if there is a family history of depression or other medical conditions like thyroid disorders, hormone imbalances, heart disease or diabetes. Pregnancy and menopause can also be a trigger.
Disruptions in neurotransmitters that release serotonin can affect regulation of many body functions. Appetite, sleep, mood, sex drive are among the most common. Traumatic life events and stressful social situations like access to safe and affordable housing, food and healthcare, or a lack of support in your personal life, are all risk factors for depression.
Treatment for Depression
Fortunately, there are many options for treatment of depression. The key factor is determining the underlying trigger or factors that are contributing to your symptoms. Each person will be unique, in this regard. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can be highly effective for treatment.
Simple things like exercise, diet changes and improved sleep habits can make a big difference. Antidepressant medication may be recommended by your MD, especially if other interventions have been unhelpful.
The importance of an accurate diagnosis can not be emphasized enough. We encourage you to compete the depression test above. In BC, it is currently very hard to find a family doctor, which creates a gap in care for patients and many other health challenges. Where possible, an MD is the appropriate place to start. MD’s are becoming available through online platforms such as Telus MyCare, but it’s not enough.
Help is available!!!
Naturopathic Medicine for Depression
A Naturopathic Doctor may be very helpful in treating your depression symptoms. Many Naturopathic Physicians, including ours at Remedy Wellness Centre, have prescriptive authority, which means they are qualified to manage your prescriptions. Often a Naturopathic Doctor can prescribe supplements at therapeutic doses, as an alternative to medication. Our Naturopathic services are available online to patients throughout BC.
Registered Clinical Counselling for Depression
Counselling for depression with clinically proven techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy, can be used to manage negative thought patterns, improve coping behaviors, and help you build the skills you need to overcome your symptoms.
Our Registered Clinical Counsellors are available online to anyone in Victoria and throughout BC. Talk therapy, especially cognitive behavioural therapy, is one of the most effective treatment methods for depression.
If you’re hesitant to talk to a healthcare provider, we encourage you to reach out to a friend or family member about how to get help. Living with this can be very hard, you’re not alone and it’s not your fault.
Treatment and support are available. If you are ready to take a small step, we encourage you to book a free consultation today. All of our practitioners offer a free chat, so you can explore your treatment options and ensure this is the right fit for you.
Chat with our one of our Registered Clinical Counsellor to see if Counselling for Depression would be a good fit for you. Counselling is available with Eric Addleman and Beverley Wilson, Registered Clinical Counsellors.