Illness May Equal…DEPRESSION

Last fall, we were inundated with news of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s cancer. While I sat listening to news anchors talk about his condition and what lies ahead for him, I could not help but consider the strong possibility of Councillor Ford developing depression.

Yes, depression.

Sometimes a person becomes depressed when something very distressing has happened to them, and they cannot control the situation. Depression can result from some medical conditions, such as, dementia, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer, and many others; couple this with substance dependence, particularly alcohol or cocaine, as in Rob Ford’s case, and it is a disaster waiting to happen.

Although not a large percentage of people with symptoms will seek professional help for depression, a large portion will visit a health care provider for some other depression related problem, such as fatigue.

Recognizing the signs of depression is the key to accessing the proper care for people suffering from the effect. Some outward signs of depression may be:

  • Looking sad, dejected or anxious
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Poor hygiene
  • Slow thinking, speech and body movement
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing
  • Decreased energy, tiredness, fatigue
  • Irritability
    Not every person who is depressed has all the symptoms of depression. There are different levels of depression which are based on the number and the severity of symptoms. Even though a person may not have the required number of symptoms to be diagnosed with clinical depression, the impact can still be devastating.

    If you recognize the signs of depression in one of your patients, or are concerned that their medical condition or substance dependence may lead to it, Mississauga Psychology Centre can help. We are trained psychologists with the skills to diagnose, develop and implement a treatment plan to help your patients alleviate the pain, both emotionally and physically associated with depression.

    Contact us to discuss how we can work together to provide the best care for your patient.
    Photo credit: Canadian Pacific / Foter / CC BY-NC