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When feeling depressed, when is it time to ask for help?

By Preeti (Rajpreet Taneja) Taneja, R.S.W, M.S.W, B.S.W Founder and Lead Therapist, Canadian Therapy

Depression is a complex mental health issue that varies widely between individuals. This is why it can be difficult for some people to recognize what may be a situational discomfort that may pass on its own and what may be more serious and require professional help.

The Difference Between Mild and Serious Mental Health Issues

To measure the seriousness of a mental health issue, most mental health professionals look at what impact it has on the person’s everyday life. They also consider the events that led to the issue.

Mild mental health issues are typically less persistent or disruptive to an individual’s everyday life. It’s serious mental health issues, on the other hand, which are often so severe that they negatively impact that person's relationships and performance at school and work.

For example, feeling pressure at work about an upcoming deadline will make just about anyone feel stressed and anxious. But if your anxiety becomes so great that you begin calling in sick to work to avoid the project and responsibilities, that would be seen as a disruption in your everyday life. Severe anxiety can lead to panic attacks, and that is definitely a reason to seek support.

Something else to keep in mind, according to Preeti Taneja, Founder and Lead Therapist of Canadian Therapy, is the context around the mental health issue. “Please know that it is perfectly normal to grieve after losing a loved one or to feel anger and resentment after discovering your partner’s infidelity. While those feelings are valid, it can definitely be helpful to speak with someone during these times, even if you may not necessarily be experiencing a severe mental health crisis that would warrant help.”

The team of counseling therapists at Canadian Therapy agrees. It is important to mention that the events of one’s life need not be “serious” for you to reach out for help. Whatever it is that you are going through and whatever feelings you are experiencing, they are valid.

Warning Signs of a Serious Mental Health Crisis

The following are some red flags of a mental health crisis that warrant asking for help:

  • Feeling sad or “down” for long periods of time (particularly without an inciting incident)

  • Noticeable mood swings from very high, like euphoria, to very low, like deep sadness or depression

  • Excessive worry

  • Feeling empty or apathetic about life

  • Engaging in self-harming behaviors, like cutting

  • Withdrawing from friends and family

  • Changes in appetite, sleep or sex drive

  • Constant fatigue

  • Thoughts of suicide

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to reach out and ask for help. While the days seem dark right now, they can and will get brighter.

As Lead Therapist of Canadian Therapy, Preeti Taneja recommends working with a trained therapist who specializes in helping people move forward from depression. "Fortunately, depression is highly treatable. A therapist can help you Identify issues that contribute to your depression and change behaviors that worsen it.” Therapy can help you set realistic goals and regain a sense of satisfaction and control in your life while easing depression symptoms, such as hopelessness and anger.

The good news is by committing to your personal development and well-being and working with a therapist who specializes in treating depression, you can have a profound recovery that ultimately leads to peace and fulfillment.

If you are interested in treatment options, please visit our website to book an appointment with a date and time that works for you. Our therapists are happy to discuss how they may help, and all therapists at Canadian Therapy offer online therapy sessions for those who feel more comfortable accessing help from home.


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