26 Nov 2021
Can Therapy Help with Depression?
26 Nov 2021
Can therapy help with depression? As many are aware, a large number of people in Canada experience mental health concerns, like anxiety and depression. You probably have family members or friends who have sought out mental health services as a result. You may also know people who have experienced serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. These people may have sought more long-term assistance and support at mental health facilities or from community service providers.
You may think that only those living with severe forms of mental health concerns (or illnesses) should seek and/or be helped by supportive services like counselling. You may even define mental health concerns based on these diagnoses which can pathologize and stigmatize people seeking help as weak. All of these micro (am I weak?) and macro factors (e.g., societal stigma around mental health) may stand in your way of seeking support. They may even interfere with understanding that your mental health concerns are valid (e.g., “I’m not as ill as the person living with schizophrenia” or “if my family member survived and coped with a mental illness on their own, then why should I “complain””?).
The things is, when we feel sick as a result of physical conditions, we seek help from a healthcare provider. So why can we not do the same when it comes to our mental health? In many instances, our mental health may even contribute to physical health concerns if we do not address them. For example things like digestive problems, cardiovascular issues, menstrual cycle irregularities and hormonal imbalances, etc my present themselves.
This blog will focus on the signs that you may need to seek support. It will take a deeper look at depression and depressive symptoms. I want to stress that we do not all experience these mental health concerns in the same way. Also remember that the emotional, psychological, biological, behavioural and social experiences are rarely lived in a linear fashion. This core belief is central in treating and supporting the entire person at Natural Choice Medical Clinic through multi-disciplinary collaboration.
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
Depression is not a single feeling or experience and it does not express itself in the same way for everyone. Some people may report feeling low, sad or down on occasion. Others may experience depression for long periods of time, having a dramatic impact on all aspects of their lives. If left unchecked, these more severe expressions of depression may impact your life emotionally, psychologically, physically, socially, and even biologically. These more severe “symptoms” may include:
- Feeling sad all the time
- Wanting to withdraw from the world
- May feel hopeless
- No longer finding pleasure in the things you used to love doing
- Stopping spending time with your loved ones
- Physically and emotionally lacking the energy or motivation to focus on relationship maintenance or development
- Eating too much or not enough
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Sleeping too much, or too little
- Difficulty in maintaining attention at home and at work
It is clear that symptoms can be expressed in very different and often contradictory ways. The emotional symptoms can also be significantly linked to your behavioural expressions. This in turn can contribute to the worsening of emotional symptoms through your impact on the social, biological and psychological aspects of self, and vice versa. Therefore, the interplay between all of these factors create an even more complicated picture of mental health. At the same time, this can provide multiple pathways of intervention through therapy to offer a full range of supports to work with you to enhance your coping skills.
My goal as a general therapist at Natural Choice Medical Clinic is to provide CLIENT-CENTRED support to you. In doing so, I focus on your specific needs and wants for therapy and for your own mental health goals. This focus starts with addressing why you have sought mental health supports and what therapy itself means to you.
How do I know if therapy is right for me?
You may be on the fence about whether to reach out for help.
At times, we may only reach out when our emotions, behaviours or relationships are impacted in a more pronounced way. For example if we loss of job, end a relationship, have a death in the family, or a physical illness. However, there are a broad range of experiences that may cause you distress – and may indicate therapy.
In determining if therapy is right for you, you can ask yourself some general questions:
- What do YOU feel?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed or confused about how you are feeling? Are you concerned that you may become overwhelmed in the future?
- How are your feelings being expressed?
- Are you doing things you normally would not do in order to cope with your feelings? or not doing things that you would usually do?
- What is the impact of these feelings and their expression on your life?
- In your relationships? Your work? Your social life?
- What do you have to lose by reaching out for help in answering these questions?
Only you can determine if therapy is right for you. This is why I offer a complementary meet and greet. This helps to answer any questions you may have about my practice or the practice of therapy in general.
If you are interested in exploring this further, book a complementary meet and greet with me at Natural Choice Medical Clinic in Guelph. I am offering virtual and in-person visits.
- adrenal fatigue
- Asian Medicine
- breast health
- cancer care
- cancer prevention
- cardiovascular health
- digestive health
- hormone balance
- immune boost
- intravenous therapy
- lab testing
- massage therapy
- mental health
- your period