Depression

Being sad, more than just sometimes is also known as depression.

Signs of depression

Depression can affect the way you feel, the way you think and the way you act. Here are some commonly reported feelings, thoughts and actions associated with depression:

Feelings
Thoughts
Actions

When and why does depression affect me?

Depression can happen at any time. You can’t give yourself depression, and it isn’t your fault.

You may have a higher risk of depression when you’re experiencing difficult situations. Here are a few examples:

Depression and the feelings associated with it can coincide with another health problem.

Some people experience depression only during certain times of the year. Many people with this type find that depression affects them in the winter. It’s called “seasonal affective disorder.”

What can I do about depression?

The first step

If you think you might be experiencing depression, think of someone you can talk to. It’s not always easy to ask for help, but it’s important to get your feelings into the open. Other people can’t help if they don’t know what’s going on.

You can start by talking to anyone you feel comfortable sharing your experiences with. It could be a parent, other family member like and aunt or uncle, a teacher, your school counsellor, a close friend or even someone you trust in your community.  

The next steps

Once you’ve received support, you may decide to talk to a doctor. Many people see their regular family doctor (also called a “general practitioner” or GP) first. Your doctor will talk to you about what you’ve been feeling. Your doctor may also ask you to see a mental health specialist like a psychiatrist or psychologist. This process is called a referral. Your doctor can help you find a good option in your community.

In some communities, you may be able to “self-refer” to a mental health program. This means that you apply for a program on your own.

You may also be able to access “drop-in” services. You don’t need to register or even make an appointment—you just stop by when they’re open.

To learn more about self-referral or drop-in services in your community, Get Connected or try talking to your doctor or school counselor.

Recovery and beyond

Recovery is a common term used meaning returning to good mental health. Recovery happens in stages over time. It may take some time go get back into your old routine, and to start getting rid of your negative thoughts. Remind yourself that you are dealing with a health problem that 1 in 4 people deal with. It’s okay to ask for help. It is okay to take time to care for yourself.

Where can I learn more about depression?

Your local crisis line

A crisis line can help you when you are very upset. They can help with a lot of other problems, too. They can help you find services in your community, or just listen to what you have to say. Call 310-6789. Do not put 604, 778 or 250 before the number. It’s free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7.

Kids Help Phone

Visit www.kidshelpphone.ca for information and support. You can post questions to counsellors online. You can also call 1-800-668-6868 to speak to a counsellor. It’s a free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7.

Youth in BC

Visit www.youthinbc.com to chat with a trained volunteer from the Crisis Centre. They’re online from noon until 1:00 am.

BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information

Visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for fact sheets and other useful information. You can learn more about depression and other problems, read stories and connect with others who are dealing with depression. There are three small booklets to help you with depression: dealing with a diagnosis of depression (when your doctor says you have depression), working with your doctor, and preventing relapse of depression.

Mind Your Mind

Mind Your Mind is a community for younger people who are learning to take charge of their mental health. You can read stories and interviews, learn more about mental health, check out a toolbox of skills and find resources. You can find them at www.mindyourmind.ca.

Mood Disorders Association of BC

The Mood Disorders Association is for people who have depression and other mood problems. They have support groups and other programs to help people across BC. To find a group in your community, visit their website at www.mdabc.net or call 604-873-0103.

This content was originally created by the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division. It is used under the terms of a Creative Commons License. More information can be found below.

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Wellness Check – Depression by Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License