Depression can be very frightening experience. It is when a low mood goes on for several days, weeks or months and becomes more and more difficult to “snap” out of. In addition to feeling low in mood or sad we may notice some or all of the following: low physical energy, reduced concentration or memory, increased or decreased appetite, disturbed sleep pattern, loss of interest in activities that are usually pleasurable, irritability, low motivation, negative thoughts about ourselves.
These symptoms combine to leave many people feeling stuck and fearing that they will never break out of the pattern.
The good news is that even very severe depressions can be treated. Whether it was brought on by obvious life stressors or seemed to come out of the blue, depression is one of the most treatable mental health problems. With the right combination of support, most people can expect to make a full recovery.
What can I do to help myself out of depression?
· Seek medical attention: there can be a variety of physical conditions that trigger depression, so it is important to involve your primary care physician when you suspect you might be depressed. Your doctor may consider tests to rule out physical causes of your experience. This will also allow you to learn about medications that some people consider,.
· Counselling and therapy make a major difference. Even if you chose to try medication it is very important to seek counselling support to improve to a full level of wellness.
· Healthy Lifestyle is more Important than ever. It is always good to take care of ourselves in terms of having a good balance of healthy food, exercise, sleep, social connection and pleasurable activities. When our mood is low, the importance of all of these factors is dramatically increased. This can be tricky, because depression decreases ones motivation to follow through on goals. Start small and don’t wait until you feel like it. In times of depression, it is important to “manually override” the body/mind urge to be inactive, eat poorly and socially isolate. Don't wait until you feel like exercising, do it anyway without any expectation of feeling the way you usually would. Over time, there is a clear benefit, even if it is difficult to notice it in the moment.
Counselling for Depression:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the foundational therapeutic modality for resolving depression. We will work together to learn about the psychological factors that are contributing to your depression. We will look for small and immediate ways to start reversing the way depression in impacting your thoughts and behaviours.
Interrupting and changing negative beliefs and patterns of thinking, learning tools to help the body stay relaxed, and making lifestyle changes with respect to activity, diet and sleep come together to make an amazing difference. We will work together to customise these tools to your situation and reverse the negative spirals of depression in your life.
In some cases, depression is part of a bigger picture that includes historical trauma. In these cases we will work with an understanding that depression can be an extension of the fight-flight-freeze defensive response leftover from a traumatic incident. The counselling will include attention on special skills for supporting the healing of the effects of those past experiences.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 250-509-1092. I offer a free 20-minute initial meeting to help you get a sense of the process and my fit for you.