Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder is more commonly referred to as clinical depression. It is characterized by “low” or depressed mood and low self-esteem. Depression can be brought on suddenly, for example, by the sudden loss of a loved one or job, or may appear with no external cause at all but major depressive disorder is different because it is the most severe form of depression.
Symptoms & signs of major depressive disorder
The symptoms of major depressive disorder include:
- Inability to be happy or experience anything that makes you happy
- Feelings of self-doubt, worthlessness, hopelessness, or regret
- In some cases, delusions can be present
- Lack of interest in everything
- Irritability and losing your temper over small things
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sleep issues (insomnia or sleeping excessively)
- Extreme fatigue and lack of energy
- Overeating or not eating, weight gain or loss
- Speaking or moving slowly
- Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
- Physical symptoms associated with depression such as muscle aches, headaches, digestive issues
When is it time to get help?
Because those with major depressive disorder are at risk for suicide, it is important to seek help right away. Getting help for depression can be especially challenging because one of the symptoms is an inability to take action. If you find yourself 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)
Major depressive disorder treatment methods
Your therapist will talk with you to determine the best treatment method for your particular circumstances. Effective treatment methods for major depressive disorder include:
- 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.
- Psychotherapy is a broad term that encompasses numerous styles of therapy and uses 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.
- 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.
- Solution focused therapy views people as inherently strong and resilient, and capable of creating change and discovering solutions to their everyday problems.
- 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).
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
Major depressive disorder is a treatable mental health issue. It may not seem like it when you’re in the midst of clinical depression but you can feel emotions again – and one of them is hope! Your therapist can support you to work through any issues you are confronting, teach you coping skills to manage life’s tough events, and find a way to lift the dark cloud you feel like you’re under. People who have dealt with major depressive disorder so get better – and you can be one of them.
With over 40 therapists on our team, we have many specialists in depression and major depressive disorder at our 6 locations in Alberta. Contact us to set up an in-person, online or telephone appointment.