February 2, 2023

What is Depression and What Can You Do About It?

Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses that affects how you feel, think and act. Depression can elicit feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you previously enjoyed. Depression can cause both emotional and physical pain that can affect your ability to function at work, at home and in other social settings.

What are the Symptoms of Depression and What Should you Watch for?

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms that you may experience can include:

  1. Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  2. Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  3. Significant changes in appetite and/or weight
  4. Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  5. Agitation or slowed movements and speech
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy
  7. Difficulty concentrating, memory issues, or difficulty making decisions
  8. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  9. Thoughts of death or suicide

It is important to note that these symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks before a diagnosis of depression can be made.

What are the 5 Tips for Dealing with Depression?

  1. Talk to a mental health professional: A mental health professional will help you understand your depression and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs. Mental Health professionals can provide you with support and guidance throughout your recovery process.
  2. Practice self-care: Self-care can include getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that you enjoy. It can also mean taking time to relax and unwind, whether that be through meditation, yoga, or just sitting quietly.
  3. Connect with others: Isolation worsens depression so it is very important to keep up with your social connections. Connecting with friends and family, joining a support group or volunteering are great ways to stay connected with others and help you to feel less alone.
  4. Keep a positive outlook: It can be difficult to see the bright side of things when you’re depressed but try to focus on the positive aspects of your life. Keep a gratitude journal, where you write down things you're thankful for, or practice positive affirmations to help boost your mood.
  5. Medication and therapy: Medication can be an effective treatment for depression, and therapy can help you learn coping strategies, process your emotions, and identify and change negative thought patterns.

Depression is a treatable condition and with self-commitment, time and proper therapies recovery is possible. If you are feeling symptoms of depression, reach out to a professional as soon as possible, and don't give up on seeking help. Be kind to yourself and know that it takes time to heal.


Can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) be used to treat depression?

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and the goal is to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their symptoms. As such, CBT is a very effective method for treating depression.

CBT for depression typically includes the following components:

  1. Education: The therapist will provide information about depression and its causes, as well as the principles of CBT.
  2. Identification of negative thoughts: The therapist will help the individual identify negative thoughts and beliefs related to their depression.
  3. Challenge negative thoughts: The therapist will work with the individual to challenge their negative thoughts and beliefs and replace them with more balanced and realistic ones.
  4. Behavioural activation: This involves increasing participation in activities that were once enjoyed and can help to improve mood.
  5. Mindfulness: Mindfulness-based strategies can be used in CBT to help the individual focus on the present moment and develop an awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.

Is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) an Effective Treatment for Depression?

CBT has been found to be an effective treatment for depression. It has been demonstrated through research trials to reduce symptoms of depression and improve quality of life. Additionally, the benefits of CBT can be maintained over time and it is less likely to have a relapse when compared with other treatments.

It's important to note that CBT is not a "quick fix" and typically requires a commitment of 4 to 20 sessions, it's important to work with a trained CBT therapist that can guide you through the process. Also, CBT is not the only treatment option for depression. Some people may benefit from another form of evidence-based therapy (e.g. interpersonal psychotherapy), from medication, or from a combination of therapy and medication. It is important to work with a mental health professional to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

How can Archways Help to Treat and Manage your Depression?

If you think that you are suffering from depression, just remember, you are not alone and that with some help from Archways, there are things that you can do to help yourself feel better.

Archways Centre for CBT is here to help you treat and manage your depression using cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) in our Anxiety and Mood Clinic.

Our Anxiety and Mood Clinic can help with depression by providing a variety of treatment options, such as therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. One of our mental health professionals at the clinic will assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs. Therapy options may include CBT, which helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns, and increase purposeful and meaningful behaviours. Lifestyle changes may also be addressed, and medications, such as antidepressants, may also be recommended to help manage symptoms.

For more information on our Anxiety and Mood Clinic, visit our website or give us a call to see if Archways Anxiety and Mood Clinics is the right fit for you.

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