If you’re reading this, chances are you might be struggling with depression and looking for a way to get help. If that’s the case, we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone! Depression is a common mental health issue that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The good news is that there are many options available for treatment, including online therapy or counselling.
Online therapy is a way to receive mental health treatment remotely via phone calls, video calls, or messaging. Online therapy allows you to receive support and guidance from a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own home or any location with an internet connection or phone service.
Common Types & Symptoms of Depression
Some people experience mild or moderate depression which can affect their day-to-day lives, relationships, and moods, but may be able to maintain a normal lifestyle. Others have more severe symptoms that greatly impact their ability to function normally.
The main types of depression:
- Major depressive disorder: Also known as clinical depression, this type of depression is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in daily activities.
- Persistent depressive disorder: This type of depression is also known as dysthymia and is characterized by a low mood that lasts for at least two years.
- Seasonal affective disorder: This type of depression is related to the changing of seasons and typically occurs during the winter months when there is less daylight.
- Postpartum depression: This type of depression affects women after giving birth and can be triggered by hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and other factors.
- Bipolar disorder: This type of depression involves alternating periods of extreme lows (depression) and extreme highs (mania).
- Psychotic depression: This type of depression is characterized by severe depression combined with some form of psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations.
- Situational depression: This type of depression occurs in response to a specific life event or situation, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce.
While depression can manifest differently in different people, there are several symptoms that are present in most types of depression. Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness
- Loss of interest in activities that used to bring joy
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you are experiencing thoughts of death or suicide, or experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately. Focus Mental Wellness does not provide crisis counselling or emergency services.
How is Depression Diagnosed?
To be diagnosed with depression, individuals must have five symptoms of depression every day, for nearly every day, for at least 2 weeks. Depression looks different in different people though, and can depend on age as well. Children and teens can be more likely to sulk, have low self-esteem and be frustrated, while older adults may feel a lack of emotion instead of a depressed mood.
The best way to determine whether you have depression and which type of depression you have is to talk to a physician or psychiatrist who can assess your symptoms and diagnose you. They will also help create a healthy and effective treatment plan so you can feel better. This could include therapy, medication, or a mix of both.
Benefits of Online Therapy for Depression
There are several benefits to online therapy for depression. One of the major advantages is that you may feel more comfortable or willing to attend a session if you don’t have to leave the comfort of home. Many people with depression have difficulty motivating themselves to do things, so having a more accessible type of therapy via phone or video call might make it easier to attend and get the help they need. This can be especially helpful if you live in a rural or remote area, or if you have mobility issues.
In addition to accessibility and convenience, online therapy is typically more cost-effective than in-person therapy. For example, Focus rates are considerably lower than in-person rates, and our services are covered by most extended benefits.
When Online Therapy May not be a Good Fit
While online therapy is a great option for many people, it may not be the right choice in all cases. More severe mental health issues may require hospitalization or medication management, plus the ability of healthcare providers to assess the physical health of a person.
During your treatment process, you might use online therapy as a way of keeping up with communicating, but it’s not a replacement for the more intensive care needed for severe mental health issues.
Finding the Right Therapist for You
When searching for a therapist for online therapy, it’s important to do your research. Look for therapists who have experience working with clients with depression and are reputable and licensed. All Focus therapists are licensed and vetted, and provide support for a wide range of mental health issues. Take our quick questionnaire and get matched to a therapist who meets your needs.
Some therapists may use a specific treatment modality, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), while others may take a more holistic approach. Consider what aligns with your own needs and preferences.
If you’re struggling with depression symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek help whether it’s online or in-person. With the right support, you can work towards improving your mental health and quality of life. Online therapy can be a convenient and effective way to receive treatment, but it may not be the right choice for everyone’s mental health needs. Take the time to consider your own needs and preferences, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a reputable and licensed therapist.
You deserve to feel better, and there is help available. Talk to a licensed therapist at Focus for empathetic and effective support.