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6327 Crowchild Trail SW

Calgary, AB T3E 5R6

counsellingconnections@shaw.ca

(403) 454-1290

Website created by Natalie Williams.

Depression and Anxiety

If you scored above a 15 or 16 on the Beck Inventory, you may need help from a therapist specializing in treatment of depression.

The merits of receiving depression counselling include:

  • Understanding triggers and practice coping techniques that alleviate symptoms.

  • Finding sources of inner motivation and strength to help engage in living mode

  • Identify and engage in activities that will help to alleviate symptoms of depression

  • Focus on creating solid daily basics (good nutrition and eating habits, exercise, meditation)

  • Build skills to overcome isolation and reconnect with significant people in your life

  • Identify and challenge negative core beliefs and limiting thinking patterns  to combat sense of helplessness and hopelessness

  • Build skills to help manage your thoughts and feelings so they no longer overwhelm you

  • Create tools to help identify and access your own emotional, mental and spiritual resources in the process of healing from depression

Depression

Depression hurts, isolates, and debilitates. It can feel like a dark cloud that will not lift, and it includes feelings of severe despondency and dejection. It can make living a normal life seem impossible. However, there is help, and you need not suffer through depression alone. At Counselling Connections, we work with people of all ages and from all walks of life to build coping tools to manage and work through their depression.

Many persons have only occasional bouts of depression over a lifetime, usually brought on by a specific situation or major life event. Some will experience it only after major life events such as divorce, sudden unemployment, health decline, or death of a loved one. Feeling sad is not the same as depression, however, and it should be noted that the process of grieving is an important part of recovering from a major life event. Individuals who find the grieving process debilitating for more than a few weeks however, may be suffering from depression, in which case treatment (often temporary) may be necessary.

Understanding the statistics behind depression may help you become aware of your risks. Rates vary by gender, age, and ethnicity. Women are at higher risk of depression than men, (nearly two fold rate of  incidence as men of the same age), while approximately 80% of male depression goes undiagnosed.  Ethnic minorities are also often at greater risk of depression. Adults aged 45-64 are more likely than any other age group to have a diagnosis of depression. Another important consideration is differentiating between situational and clinical depression.

Major depression symptoms:

  • Changes feelings

  • Lost interest

  • Fatigue  sleep issues

  • Irritability/anxiety/sad/empty

  • Uncontrollable emotions

  • Appetite & weight changes

  • Slowed thinking/speaking/movement

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Hopelessness

  • Preoccupation with death

  • Inexplicable physical problems (backpain, headaches, indigestion)

Anxiety

Anxiety is often described as a feeling of significant unease, such as worry or fear. It can range from mild to severe. Quality of life can suffer significantly when anxiety is prevalent. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point in their life (e.g. sitting an exam, having a medical test or job interview). During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. However, some people find it hard to control their worries and fears, resulting in anxiety having a dominant, and at times constant, negative impact their lives.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition that results in anxious feelings occurring about a wide range of situations and/or issues. People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue. Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias (e.g., agoraphobia or claustrophobia), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

GAD can cause a combination of psychological and physical symptoms, including:

  • feeling restless or incessantly worried

  • having trouble concentrating or sleeping

  • dizziness or heart palpitations

  • a sense of dread

  • feeling constantly "on edge"

  • difficulty concentrating

  • irritability

  • seeking constant reassurance in relationships

  • frequent avoidance of people/situations

  • trembling, shaking, or sweating excessively

  • shortness of breath

  • stomach ache/headache/ feeling sick

When to seek help for anxiety?

Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, seek help if anxiety is seriously affecting your daily life or causing you unmanageable levels of distress.

At Counselling Connections we will ask about your symptoms and your worries, fears and emotions to find out if you could have GAD or other anxiety related issues.

Benefits of anxiety therapy:

  • Enhanced ability to live a fuller, more satisfying life.

  • Excavate and heal the roots of the anxious feelings.

  • Establish tools for managing difficult emotions and experiences.

  • Gain tools for increased relaxations and self-soothing skills

  • Develop better coping and problem-solving skills.

  • Explore and adopt enhances self-compassion knowledge and skills.

  • Develop self-confidence, self-worth,  and assertiveness skills

  • Increased levels of self-awareness and self-advocacy capacities.

  • Stretching comfort zones to embrace new social situations and relationships