Depression is a psychological condition that requires medical and therapeutic treatment. It is also referred to as clinical depression, major depression, or major depressive disorder. More than just feeling down or sad, the condition affects both a person’s mind and physical abilities, causing feelings of despair, hopelessness, or even the feeling of being “numb” to life.
When someone is depressed, they cannot just “move on” or “try to feel better.” It’s been said that depression is less about sadness and more about the inability to act. This condition may require treatment through the help of psychological professionals. Major depressive disorders is also a type of depression and your therapist can help you identify if you have this disorder and the best treatment plan moving forward.
Symptoms & signs of depression
- Indecisiveness and inability to concentrate
- Feeling guilty
- Feeling worthless
- Frequent thoughts of committing suicide or of death
- Lack of interest in everyday activities
- Lack of joy in things or activities that used to bring pleasure
- Feeling irritated
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Back pain, chest pain, muscle aches, and joint pain
- Digestive problems
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Change in appetite or weight
- Self-destructive behaviour (alcohol or drug use/abuse)
When is it time to get help?
Getting help for depression can be especially challenging because one of the symptoms is an inability to take action. If you find yourself feeling down or numb, having thoughts of hopelessness and despair, avoiding loved ones and friends on a regular basis, it can be time to seek help. If you are having thoughts of suicide or repeated thoughts of death and dying – we can help.
If you, or someone you know is considering suicide, and is in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, please call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room.
For immediate help outside of our office hours, throughout Alberta, please call 211 or one of the following distress lines:
- Edmonton: The Crisis Centre call 780 482 HELP (4357)
- Greater Edmonton region: Rural Distress Line at 1-800-232-7288.
- Calgary: 403 266 HELP (4357)
Depression treatment methods
Together with your therapist, you will get to the root of your issues and that will determine the best treatment for your individual situation. Common treatment methods that have worked to treat depression include:
- Acceptance and commitment therapy encourages clients to accept the difficulties and misfortunes of life. Clients learn coping techniques to not dwell on negative emotions by staying in the present.
- Person Centered Therapy differs from more traditional therapeutic approaches in the belief that, while the therapist has expertise in many areas, the client is the expert on themselves and their lived experiences. People are essentially trustworthy and have a vast potential for understanding themselves while also being able to ultimately resolve their own problems when guided properly.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Mindfulness therapy is an approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves, others, and the world. The ability to be in the moment, to acknowledge and regulate your emotions helps you to break free from negative thought patterns.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an approach that works to help the brain process information, memories, sounds, and feelings in a way that makes them be seen in a new and less distressing way.
- Behavioural therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
- Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is an effective, research-backed, non-invasive process in which a focused magnetic field stimulates under-active brain cells, activates them to work more efficiently and transforms lives through symptom reduction. rTMS can be particularly effective when used to treat severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, OCD, chronic pain, migraines, post concussion symptoms, and burnout that has not fully responded to conventional treatments (medication/therapy).
- Positive Psychology – a field that focuses on enhancing well-being rather than attempting to address and improve symptoms.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
Depression can be treated with psychotherapy and often with the support of medical prescriptions. Untreated, this common condition can be very debilitating. If you have experienced any of the symptoms of depression, it is advisable to set up an appointment with a psychologist as soon as possible. It is difficult to handle these problems on your own; professional help may be necessary for you to get better and deal with your condition, but when you get that support, you may find that life is more manageable, you’ll have tools to cope with challenges, and you may find that overall, you’re back to your old self – or maybe even better than before you experienced depression.