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What is depression?

Depression is an extreme sadness/despair that lasts for weeks, months even years. It is profound pain that cannot be seen physically.

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Some forms include:

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Postpartum depression
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Depression related to mental health issues like bipolar or psychosis even substances uses.
  • Dysthymia –chronic low mood with moderate symptoms of depression

Depression affects all parts of you

Body

  • Significant weight gain or weight loss
  • Unexplained aches & pains
  • Loss of energy or sluggish

Mind

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Can’t concentrate/focus
  • Brain “fog”
  • Imagine the worst
  • Suicidal ideation

Emotions

  • Numbness
  • Overwhelmed Unworthy
  • Guilt
  • Losing control of emotions
  • Loss of interest in favourite activities

Spirit

  • Despair
  • Life feels hopeless
  • Feel like giving up
  • Isolating yourself
  • Questioning meaning of life
  • Lost identity
  • Loss of faith

Did you know?

Depression can happen to children, youth, adults & elders

Depression can be caused by

  • Family history: if a close relative had it, you may experience it
  • Life events: separation/divorce, death, chronic pain or illness, job/financial losses & grief etc
  • Your story: childhood abuses (sexual, physical, emotional or verbal), trauma or abandonment. Substance misuse.
  • Environment stresses: family conflicts, neglect, violent environment, or financial stress
  • Biological factors: hormonal or chemical imbalances
  • Thoughts & behaviours: always thinking bad things will happen. Thoughts going in circles.

 

Some things you can do

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Exercise regularly
 

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Eat healthy

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Study/sleep routine

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Talk to someone you can trust

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Spend time outside or in the bush/land

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Talk with an Elder or a traditional healer

Some western approaches

  • Medications such as anti-depressants can help & relieve symptoms. There are many so talk with a doctor for the best one for you. Meds can take up to several weeks to start working.
  • Talk therapy can mean talking to a psychiatrist, social worker, psychotherapist, psychoeducator, counselor, psychologist or a trusted therapist. You can discuss which types of therapy would be helpful for you.

Remember...

I'm here for you. You are loved! You are special! You are strong!

If you feel that your symptoms are too overwhelming or feel that a loved one is experiencing them - please contact your local clinic and seek help. It's not a sign of weakness but strength that you want help.

Support

Wiichihiiwaauwin (Mental Health) Helpline - 24/7. Cree speakers and Elders are available upon request

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