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Depression is estimated to affect one in four people over the course of a lifetime. Feelings of sadness are a normal part of human experience, however feelings of deep sadness over a prolonged period of time may indicate the need for assessment by your physician, depending on what else is going on in your life.

Those experiencing feelings of depression may sometimes be frustrated by the lack of understanding from friends and loved ones. Depression can be difficult for others to comprehend and can result in “compassion fatigue” in others. Speaking to a trusted, supportive counsellor can help.

Depending on the severity of symptoms your physician may suggest medication to “turn down the volume” and enable you to feel better in order to focus in counselling. Some people wish to take medication, others to do not -- it is a matter of personal choice.

Some of the indicators for depression include:

• Low mood for longer than two weeks.
• Loss of interest in things that used to interest you.
• Irritability, anger or aggressiveness.
• Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
• A sense of lethargy
• Memory problems or inability to focus.
• Confusion, or a sense of depersonalization
• Hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness.
• Intrusive or cycling negative thoughts.
• Increased high risk behaviour, or reduced self care
• Physical pain, headaches.
• Feeling that life is not worth living

Possible Triggers for Depression Include:

• Stress, at work, school or home
• Loneliness or relationship problems
• Critical environment or no control
• Job loss or financial problems
• Death of a loved one, a loved one suffering from depression
• Loss of independence through illness, injury or retirement

Please Note:

This information is for your interest only and should not be considered a diagnostic tool. If you feel you may have depression you may wish to consult with your physician. If you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts please go immediately to your nearest hospital emergency room.


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Andrea Beck & Associates is a registered member of:

Andrea Beck, Hon BA (Spec. Psych), MSW  RSW Ontario Ciollege of Social Workers & Social Service Workers Ontario Association of Social Workers International Society for Mental Health Online