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Coping with Depression

Everyone feels sad or down at times, and normally these feelings of sadness are short-lived. If these feelings don’t subside and are taking over, you may be dealing with depression.

Depression is a medical condition characterized by long-lasting feelings of intense sadness and hopelessness associated with additional mental and physical changes. Depression can affect someone’s personal, social, and professional life.

Canadians with depression estimate that they work, at any time, at 62% of their capacity when experiencing symptoms. They spend an average of two hours per working day on non-work-related activities, and 42% leave work early.

About 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will suffer from depression at some point in life. Depression in children and adolescents occurs less commonly than in adults. Almost 1.5 million Canadians have serious depression at any given time, but less than one-third of these people seek medical help.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • feelings of restlessness and/or despair;
  • sadness throughout the day;
  • having difficulty concentrating and making decisions;
  • crying for no apparent reason;
  • thoughts of suicide;
  • feeling tired and/or have no energy; and
  • loss of interest in ones favourite activities. 

Causes

There is no single cause of depression. Rather, it usually results from a combination of factors such as an imbalance of brain chemicals, family history, thoughts or beliefs that increase the risk of depression, and traumatic or stressful life events.

One factor involved in depression is an imbalance of the chemicals that help send messages in the brain. These chemicals in our brain also help regulate our emotions, behaviours, and thinking. How we perceive the world and what happens to us can also contribute to depression.

There is no single cause of depression. Rather, it usually results from a combination of factors such as an imbalance of brain chemicals, family history, thoughts or beliefs that increase the risk of depression, and traumatic or stressful life events.

Depression has a genetic component (i.e., family history). While the tendency to be depressed can be genetically inherited, the onset of depression can be provoked by many factors.

Triggers of depression include:

  • difficult or traumatic life changes (such as losing a loved one, ending a relationship, losing a job);
  • medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, lupus, hypothyroidism, chronic pain, and some types of cancer;
  • use of certain medications, including corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, narcotics, benzodiazepines, progesterone (found in some female hormonal pills), and street drugs such as amphetamines; and
  • alcohol, which has short-term and possibly long-term depressive effects.


It is important to recognize that depression is not a personal weakness or an inability to cope. With appropriate support and treatment you can feel better.

Physicians are trained to help you, and to take depression and its treatment seriously. Together with your doctor, you can begin to identify and manage the nature of the problem, and then develop a treatment plan. This may include a referral to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.

Welcome to Homewood Health
We are Canada's leader in mental health, in-patient treatment programs and emotional therapy. Whether you're looking for support for yourself, a loved one, or simply need resources on where to start, we can help.

Homewood Locations

Health Centre in Guelph

A premier private facility for addiction and mental health treatment in a comfortable, luxurious setting.

The Residence at Homewood

In Guelph, ON – A premier private facility for addiction and mental health treatment in a comfortable, luxurious setting.

Ravensview in North Saanich

Providing immediate, expert treatment for mental health, addiction and concurrent conditions.

How Homewood can help

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