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Depression is a common issue that can negatively affect how you feel, think, or act.  It can be experienced in different ways and for different reasons.  Depression may leave you feeling sad, empty, worthless, or hopeless.  You may experience low energy or fatigue, loss of pleasure or interest in previously enjoyed activities, sleep disturbances, poor appetite, or overeating.  You may feel restless, irritable, or angry.  You may find it difficult to think, concentrate, make decisions, or get along with others.  You may even experience recurrent thoughts of death.

Therapy for Depression

If you wonder whether what you are struggling with is depression, the following self-assessment quiz may be able to help.

Some people may experience depression in reaction to a specific event or situation, such as the loss of a loved one or other traumatic event, relationship difficulties, a medical condition, or work-related stress.  Some may associate depression with low self-esteem, loneliness, excessive or inappropriate guilt, or lack of meaning and purpose.  Others may even experience it for seemingly no reason at all. 


Many clients have asked me, "Can therapy help with depression? Or is it better to rely on medication?"  Whatever the source of your symptoms, psychotherapy has been shown to be a more effective treatment for depression than medication.  Although antidepressants can make you feel better, they can also cause unpleasant side effects, such as weight gain, drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, sexual dysfunction, and even risk of suicide.  Moreover, if the root cause of your depression is not addressed, the effectiveness of antidepressants may be limited, or you may become dependent on the medication to continue functioning and feeling better.  In contrast, therapy for depression can help you alleviate your symptoms by addressing their root cause.  It can help you raise your self-esteem, correct your self-defeating beliefs, develop healthier mindset, improve relationships, and discover meaning and purpose.  In some instances, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be the most effective approach to treating depression.  Sometimes antidepressants can clear your brain fog and give you the energy and motivation you need to participate in psychotherapy.  Please note that psychotherapists do not prescribe medication.  Please ask your family doctor or psychiatrist if you need a prescription for antidepressants.


If you decide to start therapy for depression at Better Self – Psychotherapy & Counselling, my therapeutic approach will depend on many factors, including your specific presenting concerns, the root cause of your depression, your personality and worldview, your thought patterns, your tried coping strategies, your previous experience with psychotherapy, and your objectives.  If, in addition to feeling depressed, you are also struggling with symptoms of anxiety, we will integrate therapy for depression with therapy for anxiety.  If you are experiencing depression in the context of bipolar disorder, we will integrate therapy for depression with therapy for bipolar disorder.  My therapeutic approach will also depend on the unique dynamics of our therapeutic alliance.  Regardless of these variables, I will try to create a psychological environment of security and freedom, where you can explore the hidden aspects of your inner self and learn to be more accepting of yourself, with both your strengths and limitations.

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