What is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and can interfere with your daily functioning. Depression can affect your:
- energy level
- can increase substance use (in most cases it may worsen depression)
- withdrawal from friends and family
- can affect your productivity at work
Depression can cause low interest in the things you once found enjoyable. It may lead to stigma, shame, isolation, and thoughts of suicide. There is no single cause for depression but it can have a variety of reasons/triggers. For example; bereavement/death of a loved one, trauma, abuse, genetics, medication, significant/stressful life event, gender, and age can also play a role in depression. There are also many different types of depression such as:
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric
- Bipolar and more
How does depression affect your brain?
Research shows that depression decreases the size of grey matter in the brain, and the brain reduces in size. It affects 3 specific neurotransmitters:
- Serotonin (hormone that stabilizes our mood and helps with sleeping, eating, digestion)
- Dopamine (feel-good hormone, plays a role in how we feel pleasure)
- Norepinephrine (helps mobilize the brain for action, can improve energy and attentiveness)
How can depression be treated?
There are a variety of depression therapy treatments that can be used individually or combined that can include seeing a depression psychotherapist, medication, psychoeducation, and holistic options:
- Exercise “natural antidepressant”
- Bright light therapy
- Supplements (Vitamin D, 5-HTP)
- Medication (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, NaSSAs, MAOIs, and sometimes Nonselective cyclics)
- Healthy food (improving gut health)
- Being mindful what you expose yourself to (positive people, uplifting movies and music)
How seeing a psychotherapist can help treat depression
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness or addiction problem. Depression is common and treatable by a depression psychotherapist. Psychoeducation and talk therapy are effective tools to help treat depressive symptoms by:
- improving symptoms or episodes of depression
- developing new coping skills and problem solving techniques
- understanding why you think, feel, react that way you do
- displacing negative thought patterns
- defining and reaching wellness goals
- identifying triggers
- separating your true personality from the moods caused by depression
My method with treating depression
As a depression psychotherapist, I provide a safe environment for you to feel safe to discuss your life and feelings, unraveling any shame or stigma associated with asking for mental help. I use a variety of techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as well as Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). I will also further explore together with you, your holistic options such as meditation, healthy eating, and exercise.
Depression can be manageable and having a depression psychotherapist create a custom treatment plan for your individual needs is ideal. Contact me for a free telephone assessment and to discuss your custom treatment plan. Learn more about the Resources available to you.