What Is Depression?

What Is Depression?

Depression is a common term used to describe a state of being where one feels sad, empty, and/or hopeless. It is normal to have bouts of feeling low but it can become serious when these feelings begin to affect your life in negative ways. Many people get diagnosed with depression disorders as a result of severity and length of time of their low mood.

Who can diagnose depression?

Clinical depression can be formally diagnosed by a doctor, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. The doctor would assess your mood and see if it fits criteria for a mood disorder and then would write up a report about their findings.

Should I get a formal diagnosis?

A formal diagnosis is NOT needed to get better!

People choose to get a formal diagnosis to help them gain access to certain health services, medication
and/or validate their experience. HOWEVER, there can be some drawbacks such as wait times (if you go through the public system) or the cost (if you pay privately for the diagnosis). It is also possible that the diagnosis could go on your formal health record (which some people do not want). Being formally diagnosed could also negatively affect how you view yourself, your behaviours and your ability to get better.

If you do decide you want a formal diagnosis, I recommend seeing a psychiatrist as their niche is mental health and they can diagnose you as well as prescribe and monitor medication.

Is there something wrong with my brain if I am suffering from depression?

Well that depends who you ask:

  • Postmodernists would argue that mental illness is a social construction. That society has judged what is normal behavior and what is not and labeled behavior as such. They view mental illness terminology as a tool to help people make sense of their experience, gain access to medication and services BUT they do not think that there is something inherently disordered about you.
  • Scientists would argue that there is something inherently disordered in your brain. That they have discovered mental illness and like physical illness, these disorders are an objective truth for all people across all contexts.

How can I stop depression from affecting my life?

I’m glad you asked! The two main ways to get rid of depression are through medication and/or counselling.

At Insight Mental Health Counselling, I help teenagers who feel powerless towards depression, take back control of their lives. In sessions, we’ll explore your problems and find solutions by expanding on your strengths, skills, capabilities, values, and beliefs that can help to stop depression from affecting your life!

Ready to say goodbye to depression and begin your journey towards happiness?

Click Here

To book a counselling appointment with me today!

Not ready yet to try medication or counselling? That’s okay! Check out this link for great tips on how to overcome depression!

Until next time!

Julia

     Meet Julia Smith

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT-C, CCC, is a mental health counsellor in downtown Halifax. She helps kids, teens, and young adults who are struggling with anxiety, stress, and depression. Click here to learn more about her downtown Halifax counsellor practice!

Insight Mental Health Counselling