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, he or she cannot just “move on” or “try to feel better.” It’s been said that depression often equals a lack of action. This condition may require treatment through the help of psychological professionals.

Signs & Symptoms of Depression

Emotional symptoms

  • Indecisiveness and ability 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

Physical symptoms

  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Headaches
  • 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, 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

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most recommended form of counselling for depression. CBT is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how your thoughts, emotions and beliefs influence your behaviour. These sessions will help you understand which behaviors and thoughts are unhealthy, and ways to realistically remedy these issues. The sessions also help you cope with the symptoms, allowing you to gain a more positive perspective on life. This change also relieves the depression symptoms, particularly feelings of anger, worthlessness, and sadness.
  • Psychotherapy is a broad term that encompasses numerous styles of therapy and employs verbal or nonverbal communication with a client to help treat psychiatric problems, behavioral issues, personality disorders, and various other types of emotional distress. This form of personal counselling is based on an interpersonal relationship, as opposed to the alternative chemical or physical forms of therapy. As the therapist creates dialogue, you are able to learn more about your moods, behavior, feelings, and thoughts. Understanding these factors helps you to control your life and handle certain situations healthily.
  • Mindfulness Therapy combines cognitive behaviour therapy with meditation techniques. It was originally used to treat depression, it has shown to be effective in the treatment of other conditions and mental health concerns. Clients use mindfulness techniques to interrupt thoughts and automatic body processes (sleep disturbances, for example). This type of therapy helps clients to see that their thoughts can become their reality and they are taught how to disengage from negative thoughts and thought patterns.

What will I get out of depression 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.