Everyone goes through ups and downs in in life. Especially during this pandemic, there may be feelings of isolation and uncertainty that could lead to a temporary depressive state.

But sometimes, those feelings don’t subside. Clinical depression, sometimes called major depression, is a complex mood disorder caused by various factors, including genetic predisposition, personality, stress, and brain chemistry.

While it can suddenly go into remission, depression is not something that people can “get over” by their own effort.

Each person is different and will have unique symptoms, but here are some of the more common symptoms of depression:

  1. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  2. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  5. Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling “slowed down”
  6. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  7. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  8. Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  9. Restlessness or irritability

If this sounds like you, don’t lose hope. Help is out there and easily accessible. Here are a few ways you can access help:

  1. Talk to your family doctor.
  2. Check out online apps, such as TogetherAll (formerly Big White Wall), which offers emotional wellness workshops to individuals, organizations, and families.
  3. SHN’s Mental Health App Library, featuring 18 free apps designed to help improve mental health.
  4. Check with your employer for resources through your Employee and Family Assistance Plan.

Scarborough Health Network (SHN) also provides comprehensive mental health care for the Scarborough community. We are proud to offer culturally safe care including a Tamil-speaking therapist, as well as a variety of therapeutic groups.

For more information on SHN’s mental health services, visit www.shn.ca/mental-health.