What happened? Are you down today? Are you not feeling good? It has been so many days that you have not come out of your room. You don’t even talk properly. Is there something wrong with your health? Do you think that your recent mood swings and self-isolation episodes are way past any explanation and not just a temporary thing? Have you been sick and tired of hearing such questions and pretending that everything is alright? You try to act fine when you know that something is upsetting you up deep within your mind. Do you need a doctor or counsellor? Are you facing these never-ending questions? All these might be signs that you’re depressed.
Suffering in silence is not a wise idea. You might be slowly slipping into depression, and it could be detrimental to your overall mental health and well-being.
Are You Depressed?
All of us feel down at some point in our lives. Our natural response to a given situation that bothers us or something that we do not like or want. However, when these feelings of monotony, hopelessness and loneliness get on our nerves and cage us, we dismiss it as a bad mood day. In actuality, it could be something beyond that. It could be that you are in a state of depression.
What is Depression?
Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a widespread and severe medical condition that affects your mental well-being.
Let’s take a look at how common depression is among Canadians.
Here are some statistics by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA):
- Nearly 10% to 20% of the youth population of Canada suffers from mental illness.
- About 5% of the male and 12% of the female population between the age of 12 and 19 years have gone through severe episodes of depression.
- According to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the global pandemic, COVID-19 has severely affected Canada’s mental health and well-being.
These are a few examples from various parts of the country. The real picture is more likely to be even more frightful. However, although depression affects the body and mind slowly, it is treatable with the right mental health counseling once diagnosed.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
If you or your family members doubt that you might be depressed, it is crucial to seek help. You can choose online therapy. It would be helpful for you to understand your signs and symptoms. So, what are the symptoms of depression?
The signs of depression may vary from one person to the other. However, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for. Although they appear to be like normal lows, some signs are more complicated, stronger and stay longer. So, when you go for your counseling session, make sure to discuss these with your counsellor or therapist.
The signs and symptoms of depression include:
You almost always feel hopeless and helpless
You always have a negative outlook, feeling as if it is the end of the world, and there is nothing that you can do to fix whatever is broken inside. You have made up your mind that nothing will change or improve in your life.
You do not find anything interesting anymore
You have almost forgotten about the things and ideas you once used to love, including your hobbies, skills, food and other things that gave you joy and happiness earlier. You have disconnected yourself from everything and everybody.
Your favorite foods do not tempt you anymore
You stop caring about what you have for lunch or dinner. You just eat to fill your stomach, not because of your fondness for the dishes you enjoyed. There are days when you don’t even like the very thought of having food. You do not particularly feel hungry or want to eat. There are significant changes in your food habits and body weight. You have either lost or gained weight in a short span of time.
Your sleeping pattern has changed
You either have insomnia or you oversleep. Some people also complain about waking up early in the morning and then feeling tired all day long.
Your temperament has changed
You get agitated easily even if there is a minor issue or you do not react at all.
You always feel tired
You are no more the same person who was full of energy. You feel sluggish and tired, even after doing small tasks or household chores. You put off work and socializing.
You blame yourself a lot
You suffer from the immense feeling of guilt or worthlessness. You have become your biggest critic who criticizes themselves for little mistakes, even including those you have not committed. The criticism is borderline self-loathing. Your tendency to self-harm has also increased.
You cannot concentrate well
You find it a hard time to focus and make decisions.
You try to escape most of the time
You always look for an escape from everything and everyone around you. And, you find your escape and comfort zone in things like dangerous sports, indulging in substance abuse, smoking, alcoholism and everything that can help you find solace.
You experience unexplained pain
People who suffer from depression also complain about pains and aches, including stomach pain, headache, muscle pain and back pain.
You fake feelings of happiness
This condition, where you fake that you are happy to hide your real emotions, is also known as Smiling Depression. You carry the burden of being sad with a happy face. However, this technique of forced happiness can make you even more depressed.
So, if you or any of your family members experience these signs and symptoms, do not avoid them. Talk about it instead. Did you know, untreated or ignored depression can be life-threatening as well. People suffering from depression go through suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Causes of Depression
Anyone can become depressed. You never know, the person who sits next to you in your office, the person who appears to be happy all the time, can also be suffering from depression.
Many factors can lead you to the road of depression. Here are the causes of depression:
Biochemistry of the Brain
In some people, differences in some chemicals found in the brain can also lead to depression. Shortage of serotonin leads to depression.
Family History of Depression
Your chances of becoming depressed are higher if depression runs in your family.
If you get stressed easily, or a minor problem can overwhelm you, or even something as elemental as your brain telling you that a glass is half empty rather than half full, you are more likely to get depressed.
Certain environmental factors or the place where you live also play an essential role in your mental health.
Dealing with Depression
If you experience the symptoms mentioned above, then you may be depressed. But do not worry, take a deep breath, and read on. You will find many experienced and reputable (not psychologists – therapists) psychologists in Ontario who can help you deal with depression via various counseling techniques and platforms. If you are looking for online counseling in Canada (only Ontario right now), all you need is to perform a simple Google search and find online psychological help counselling services.
Always remember, your mental wellbeing is as crucial as your physical wellbeing. And as far as depression is concerned, it can affect anyone regardless of gender, social status or age. Therefore, you need to increase awareness about depression and talk more frequently about it. By opting for online therapy, you can help yourself and others fighting depression.
With access to a list of best therapists in Ontario, you get access to the best-in-class treatment options, a chance to become a part of support groups, and learn more about mental health and how you can cope and help others cope with depression. United We Care is the mental health wellness platform featuring the most complete list of depression counselors and therapists.
Online Depression Therapy
Online Depression Therapy mainly focuses on the thoughts that are currently bothering you, your feelings, any change in behavior, and how all of these are affecting your daily life. During your session with your psychotherapist or social worker, he or she is likely to leverage talk therapy to understand your issues and help you know that depression is just another phase of your life, and it shall pass.
A mental health counseling professional’s role is to listen to your problems, provide his/her feedback, and work with you to find out and create the strategies to cope with depression. They will evaluate your progress during the sessions and, if needed, will customize the sessions according to your needs.
Always remember, you should never hide anything from your therapist. If you do so, your therapist will not be as effective in helping and knowing what’s bothering you. How can they help you deal with it?