Depression is a debilitating condition that can affect many domains of life. We have worked with many, many clients struggling with depression.
Depression can change the way you think. Aaron Beck (a preeminent depression researcher and scientist who developed Cognitive Therapy) identified that individuals suffering with depression have a particular way of thinking – the negative cognitive triad. Essentially, a person that is depressed has a tendency to have:
A negative view of the self
A negative view of the world
A negative view of the future
Depression bombards a person with constant negative, self-critical thoughts. Over time, these thoughts erode and break down a person’s confidence, self-worth, meaning, sense of purpose, and their goals.
Depression can also change the way you feel in your body, physically. Common physical symptoms of depression include:
Feeling agitated, can’t sit still
Body aches (e.g., headaches, back aches, stomach aches)
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Decreased appetite or increased appetite
Decreased or no sex drive
Basically, depression can make you feel sick, weak, and run down. Depression is exhausting and wears down your capacity to cope.
Depression can change your behaviours. Depression slowly erases a person’s motivation and sense of purpose. Anhedonia is one of the most destructive symptoms of depression – a person loses interest and pleasure in the things that were once meaningful, important, and enjoyable. Life loses zest. Nothing feels good. Everything is bleak. When depression has a hold, even simple activities (e.g., selfcare activities like getting showered and dressed) seem too difficult. Depression has a goal – to get you to do nothing so that eventually you feel like nothing.
Depression takes over a person via these changes. We work with clients to identify and understand their specific depressive symptoms. We then work on fighting back! We use evidence-based treatments like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat depression. We help clients learn and consistently implement strategies to return thoughts, body, and behaviour back to a healthier state – a state that supports personal goals, a sense of purpose, and engagement in life.