Just as everyone feels anxious at one time or another, we all feel sad at times, or inexplicably tearful or just plain “down.”

These uncomfortable feelings are part of life. But when these feelings persist for weeks and weeks, affecting the way we eat and sleep, how we feel about ourselves and how we think about family, friends, and work, then this is not just a part of life, psychologically it is assessed as clinical depression.

Depression can affect anyone. There are many different factors at work, including family history, biology, life experiences, and physical health problems.

How do you know if you are depressed? Symptoms include:
• loss of energy
• loss of interest in activities and in life
• feelings of sadness and hopelessness
• loss of appetite
• difficulty in concentrating
• irritability and indecisiveness
• suicidal thoughts
• anxiety, including physical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, hot or cold flushes, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat and increased perspiration.

Treatment of Depression

In my counselling sessions, I treat depression by identifying thinking patterns that cause and maintain depression.
I use this approach because it focuses on present, “here and now” thoughts and behaviours.
Together, you and I will identify your symptoms and their severity and select goals you wish to attain (such as increasing self-esteem or improving communication).
I will help you to look at how your actions or lack of actions contribute to your feelings, and help you identify negative or unrealistic ways of thinking that may be making you feel depressed.

With 20 or fewer sessions of individual therapy, approximately 75 per cent of patients experience a significant decrease in their symptoms. As well, patients are given the tools to prevent depressive symptoms from coming back.