How Men and Women Can Recognize Depression in Ottawa

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Ottawa Counselling Services Advise that Men and Women Experience This Condition Differently

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is a serious psychological disorder that can affect people at any time in their life. It is typically characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anger, worthlessness, and a loss of pleasure or excitement in activities that used to be enjoyable. Most people do experience sad moods from time to time. But clinical depression is different from just feeling sad since the sad or depressed mood lasts most of the day. People with clinical depression tend to experience these low feelings or depressed moods every day for at least a 2 week period.

What many people don’t realize, and is important to understand before you seek counselling in Ottawa, is that women and men who suffer from depression can experience very different symptoms. Some of these differences between men and women are products of our biological differences. Men and women may also react differently to depression based on how men and women are taught to deal with the emotions differently.

How Men and Women react differently to Depression

For example, men who suffer from depression in Ottawa are less likely to seek treatment. And men are more likely to fail to recognize that anything is emotionally wrong. Many of men will ignore the signs and symptoms of depression as they find it difficult to talk about their feelings and emotions. Men tend to focus more on the physical symptoms that often accompany depression, such as back pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, or sexual problems. Avoiding talking or examining emotions can result in your depression going untreated as your doctor will focus on your reported physical symptoms instead.

Some depressed men self-medicate using drugs or alcohol to dull their emotions. They may also distract themselves from their depressed feelings by avoidance. Men tend to avoid addressing issues that are bothering them and may choose instead to over-engage in work, sports, or gaming. Or depressed men may also seek high risk-taking behaviours like gambling, unprotected sexual contact or reckless driving as a means of dealing with their anger and depression. Men are more likely to express depression through anger directed at others. Unfortunately, men are four times as likely as women to commit suicide as they use more serious methods to self-harm when depressed.

Women are twice as likely as men to feel depressed over their lifetime (12% of women versus 7% of men). Depression can occur at any age, but it’s most common in women between the ages of 40 and 59. Women may experience depression more often when compared to men due to biological differences such as premenstrual syndrome, hormonal fluctuation, during pregnancy, and postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a serious medical condition, which requires immediate intervention and treatment for both the mother and her new baby. Postpartum depression occurs in about 10 to 25 per cent of women following the birth of their child. Depression risk for women also increases during early menopause or after menopause especially if women experience long-term sleep disruption or have previously suffered from depression. Women suffering from depression may also experience the desire to sleep more and isolate themselves from others. Many women tend to blame themselves when they feel depressed and may turn to food to feel better. Women are more likely to seek counselling in Ottawa for their depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

To better understand whether or not you might be at risk for depression, Ottawa therapy clinics suggest look for these symptoms to see if you might be suffering from depression. Seek counselling fro depression in Ottawa if you have any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Ongoing feelings of sadness, guilt or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Significant changes in your sleep pattern, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much or waking up too early
  • Fatigue, or unexplained pain or other physical symptoms without an apparent cause
  • Changes in appetite leading to significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Feeling as though life isn’t worth living, or having thoughts of suicide
  • Excessive crying, explainable need to cry
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feeling as though life isn’t worth living, or having thoughts of suicide or believing everyone would be better off if you were gone

If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide or death please do contact 911 and your family doctor immediately for help.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms seek help. There are options for depression counselling in Ottawa to help you deal with depression. Please remember you are not alone. There is help for you.