Depression is such a predominant condition for people today. The statistics show that one in four people will experience depression at some time in their lives. But the term “depression” covers such a wide range of individual experiences.

How do you know if you are depressed? If you go to a doctor, a psychologist or a counsellor, they will look for symptoms such as sadness, suicidal thoughts, loss of pleasure, negative feelings about yourself, loss of interest in life, low energy, difficulty concentrating, changes in sleep pattern and appetite, and loss of interest in sex. If you have some of these and other symptoms you may meet the criteria for depression. However, meeting the criteria does not tell the whole story.

I like to divide depression into two main categories: physiological depression (or depression that is predominantly in your brain) and emotional depression (or depression that is predominantly in your heart). When someone is physiologically depressed they may not notice that they feel sad at all, but they can have symptoms like spontaneous crying, low energy, difficulty concentrating and changes in sleep and eating patterns. This kind of depression may be caused by an imbalance in the brain, and may be more effectively treated with anti-depressant medication.

Most of the clients I see who are suffering from depression have a more emotionally based depression. They may feel sad, negative and suicidal. They often have no motivation for life, are irritated, and are generally unhappy with their lives. The cause of their depression is often from difficult life events, past trauma, or a lack of love in their childhood. They may have developed a negative way of thinking about themselves, and these negative thoughts make them feel worse and worse, to the point that they spiral downwards into a dark hole that they can’t seem to get out of.

The counselling approach I use for depression will depend on your history of depression and what symptoms you have. When I work with clients in Victoria I usually use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and depth psychotherapy. A big part of changing the effects of depression involves changing the negative thinking pattern and the negative lifestyle that goes along with it. But you may also want to look at how you got into these negative patterns and to heal the painful life experiences that caused your emotions to shut down. If this sounds like the kind of counselling you would like I will be happy to work with you to help free you from the burden that depression can become.

Ben Kotler Counsellor

Ben Kotler, MA, RCC

Victoria Address: 1517 Amelia St, Victoria, BC V8W 2J9
Duncan Address: 111 Station Street, Suite 202, Duncan, BC V9L 1M8
Ph: 250-634-1634 ( iPhone Texting Available )
Fax: 1-888-684-6922
Email: info@feelchange.ca