What is Depression?

Depression is a word that we use to describe many thoughts and feelings which can be confusing.   We all experience periods of sadness or depression during our life.  But being sad is not the same as being depressed.

We are often sad after a loss or change in our life, like a death, job loss, relationship loss or health changes, but this is not depression, this is grief.  The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities.

Those who suffer from clinical depression experience persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Aside from the emotional problems caused by depression, physical symptoms such as chronic pain or extreme fatigue are often present. 

Medical conditions like thyroid problems; vitamin deficiency; or other illnesses can mimic symptoms of depression, so it is important to rule out any physical causes before starting a course of psychotherapy.  


Psychotherapy can be very helpful in treating depression, regardless if it is a major depression episode or feelings of sadness that come and go, or is a natural grief response.   My approach would be to firstly rule out any physical reasons, and them explore what may have happened in your life to trigger this depression. There are a number of medications that are helpful in treating clinical depression which can be prescribed by a family doctor or psychiatrist.   Working collaboratively we will explore this option.  Medication alone is not very effective in treating depression and data shows that  it is more effective to be engaged in psychotherapy along with medication.   Research shows, counselling has been found to be as effective as antidepressant medication to treat depression. In fact, people who use only medication to treat depression, and do not participate in counselling, have significantly higher relapse rates. Exercise is perhaps the best anti-depressant on the market, but expecting someone in a depressive episode to exercise is a huge challenge.  

If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” 
― Stephen Fry

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I am in the office Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday and usually respond to inquiries within 6 hours during the week. 

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I am registered with College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO # 004190)  and some insurance companies cover my services.  Please check with your insurance company to see if they cover my services.  My services are not covered under OHIP because I am not a psychiatrist and therefore you do not need a doctors referral

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