It is estimated that, in Quebec, more than 20% the population is affected by depression.
We’ve all experienced moments of sadness, and its completely natural and healthy for us to feel such emotions in our everyday lives. Depression becomes an illness when it takes over our general mood and prevents us from living a normal existence. Its symptoms are persistent, intense and do not seem to go away with time. Quite often, there is no particular event that prompts the emergence, and persistence, of these symptoms.
Symptoms of depression are similar to those of certain physical illnesses, which is why a medical exam should be carried out when depression is suspected. Women are twice as susceptible to depression as men.
Severe and persistent depression is characterized by ongoing mood disorders. People with serious depression are sad, discouraged and irritable on a constant basis and are unable to find pleasure in life. Their eating habits and sleep patterns have been disrupted; they have trouble concentrating and thinking clearly; they often feel guilty and unworthy of love; and some think regularly about death. Severe and persistent depression does not go away on its own. It requires treatment so that symptoms do not intensify over time.
Certain types of severe depression can be genetic. Environmental factors such as intense stress, the loss of a loved one, a troubling event or a stressful environment can also play a significant role in the onset of this illness.
Drug therapy can help stabilize the general state of the person living with depression. Antidepressants, for example, can help reduce or even eliminate symptoms while also preventing potential relapses. And when drug therapy goes hand in hand with psychotherapy, it can allow the person to concentrate on finding the root of their depression and take the necessary steps to resolve any problematic situations.