To date, an est. 1 in every 5 Canadians suffer from mental illness, while an est. 1 in every 4 develop and require treatment for depression.
There are many different types of depression that an individual can be diagnosed with, the most common being Major Depressive Disorder. This type of depression is characterized by feelings of worthlessness, lack concentration, lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, drastic changes in weight (loss or gain), disturbed sleep, fatigue, as well as thoughts of suicide. Typically, an individual will be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder if they exhbit any of these symptoms for more than two weeks.
Bipolar Disorder is another common form of depression, though it alternates from feelings of sadness to unusual feelings of euphoria, also known as mania. Bipolar disorder can range from mild to severe and can also have a negative impact on your ability to live a normal life.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that occurs in certain months, such as winter, and is characterized by symptoms similar to those of Major Depressive Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder is less likely to occur during spring or summer months.
New mothers can also develop Postpartum depression or the “baby blues.” Postpartum depression develops as a result of a shift in hormones due to pregnancy. Mothers with Postpartum depression may feel sad, will want to withdraw from their friends and family, and will also have difficulty bonding with their baby.
Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician from Vancouver, BC, encourages anyone experiencing some or all of the aforementioned symptoms above to seek immediate medical attention. By opening up about your mental health, you help to break barriers and reduce the stigma that surrounds it.
For more information on how to recognize the symptoms of mental illness, click here.