Depression is not simply a feeling. It is an illness that impacts how you think, feel, interact with others, and deal with daily life.


You may feel numb and unmotivated, struggle to enjoy anything, feel fatigued, or cry frequently. Some people experience chronic depression, while others experience depression in episodes, during certain seasons, during pregnancy, or after the arrival of a child.


The idea that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain fails to capture the complexity of the illness. There are likely many causes that vary from person to person, including hormonal changes, adverse experiences, relational experiences, and lifestyle habits.


At Monarch Psychology, we adhere to a biopsychosocial model of mental health that takes into consideration the biological, psychological, and social factors in each individual’s life.


Our approach to treating depression takes all of these factors into account. We understand that it can feel virtually impossible when you are struggling with depression to follow common advice to exercise and socialize more, and we will work with you to find ways to move forward and regain your life and your vitality. 

Symptoms of Depression

Depression can exist in many shapes and forms, affecting each individual who experiences it differently.


To help you understand what depression can look like, here are some common symptoms of depression:

  • Depressed mood (intense sadness and despair)
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Low motivation and drive
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia or oversleeping)
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling worthless or ashamed
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Anxiety (worry, tension, restlessness)
  • Agitation or anger
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in appetite
  • Low self-esteem
  • Negative views of yourself, others, and the world
  • Hopelessness

Types of Depression and Depressive Disorders

Symptoms of depression can culminate into different types of depression, each with its own unique challenges.


Here are the most common types of depression and depressive disorders:

  • Major Depressive Disorder: Recurrent episodes of depression
  • Bipolar Disorder: Mood episodes that range from extremes of high energy and impulsivity to depressive episodes
  • Dysthymia/Persistent Depressive Disorder: Consistent low-grade depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: A period of major depression that typically occurs during the winter months and improves in the spring and summer
  • Perinatal Depression: Occurs during pregnancy or after giving birth
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Occurs just before or early in menstruation
  • Situational Depression: Occurs in response to a situation such as a loss or stressful life experience


Other conditions also share features with depression, and can contribute to depression, such as anxiety, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), ADHD, addiction, personality disorders, eating disorders, and self-harm.

How Does Counselling Work for Depression?

Counseling works for depression by identifying the unique combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that are contributing to depression in each person.


By identifying these patterns, we can find ways to change them.


This might include lifestyle changes, improving communication skills or learning how to respond to negative thoughts with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).


In the case of depression caused by trauma, therapies such as EDMR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) or ACT (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) can be helpful in relieving psychological distress.


In addition, because motivation can be a significant roadblock for those with depression, therapy can help you stay motivated and accountable to your goals.


Some people may also benefit from medication, and although therapists at Monarch Psychology cannot prescribe medication, we can help you explore this option.

Calgary Mental Health Services for Depression

When it comes to treating depression there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Understanding your unique situation is an essential part of therapy.

Together, we can discover the factors that are contributing to your depression and determine the best approach to help you start living your life again!

Monarch Psychology offers individual counseling both in-person and online with a free 15-minute phone consultation.

Contact us today for more information.

Our Depression Therapists

Amber Michele Shay
Anna Robertshaw
Devany Benis
Monika Pakstas
Natasha Thibodeau
Nicole Caines