What is Depression

Depression is a common mood disorder, and symptoms include sleep problems, lack of appetite, loss of motivation and feelings of helplessness. Find local mental health providers for depression diagnosis and treatment.

Local Psychologist

Kirtley Thornton

Kirtley Thornton

Charlotte, NC
Dr. Kate Hays

Dr. Kate Hays

Ph.D., C.Psych, Clinical Sports Psychologist
Toronto, ON
Ms. Lynda Mainwaring

Ms. Lynda Mainwaring

Associate Professor at the University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Lakshmi Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych (UK), discusses depression as a mood disorder.

Quiz: Do You Understand Anxiety & Panic Attacks?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:


Many people with anxiety disorder have panic attacks.

Anxiety disorder causes people to intermittently feel nervous, have a sense of impending doom or danger, sweat, hyperventilate or experience an elevated heart rate. Many people with anxiety disorder have panic attacks.

Physical activity won't reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Studies show that exercise may help reduce symptoms of anxiety. Exercise releases powerful chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, which improve mood and feelings of well-being. It can lower cortisol (also called the “stress hormone”) levels and support nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps regulate mood.

Foods rich in zinc have been linked to lowered anxiety.

Studies show that foods rich in zinc can reduce anxiety. Zinc is found in foods such as beef, poultry (dark meat), whole grains and nuts.

Panic attacks generally last about 25 minutes.

Panic attacks usually last less than 10 minutes. However, some of the symptoms may persist for longer.

There is no genetic component to anxiety.

Genetics play a role in anxiety. If someone in your family has an anxiety disorder, it's more likely that you will as well.
(Answer all questions to activate)

Lakshmi Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych (UK), discusses treatment of depression.

Treatment of Depression

Approximately 60 percent of patients with depression respond to the first antidepressant that we prescribe, but the other 40 percent don’t respond.

In those situations, we’re trying to figure out what to do next. Some of the strategies that we use are switching patient from one antidepressant to a different antidepressant, perhaps to an antidepressant that belongs to a different class. For those that do not respond to the first antidepressant that we prescribe, we have number of strategies. One strategy would be to switch them to a different antidepressant, to an antidepressant that belongs to a different class. The other option is to add another medication to that antidepressant, and we call that an augmentation strategy.

The medications that we often use to augment are atypical antipsychotics or lithium; those are the two most common strategies. When we do that, another 30 to 50 percent of people respond, so it’s a pretty good strategy.

If you have more questions about how to treat refractory depression, please make sure to speak with you psychiatrist or a family physician.

Presenter: Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, Psychiatrist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Psychiatrist

What is Depression?

Depression is a type of mood disorder. It is very common.

1 in 7 people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Now, when we say depression, we’re not really talking about feeling sad for about an hour or two once in a while; we all feel that way.

When we say depression, what we are talking about is somebody that’s feeling sad all the time, continuously, for week to months, that’s what clinical depression is. If you are experiencing clinical depression, in addition to feeling sad or unhappy, you also tend to experience a number of other symptoms.

These include things like having problems with sleep, not wanting to eat, not having any interest or motivation in your hobbies or going, or talking to people. Sometimes, you also tend to have a number of negative thoughts going through your head.

At times, you might feel that life is not worth living. In fact, 10 to 15 percent of people with depression attempt suicide, and many succeed as well.

If you’re unsure, please make sure to speak with your family physician or a psychiatrist.

Presenter: Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, Psychiatrist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Psychiatrist

Depression - Sadness, Treatments, Conditions and Symptoms

Men typically don’t present with the characteristic signs and symptoms of depression as described in the DSM.

Men often will present with other signs and symptoms, such as irritability, aggression, addictive types of behaviors. What are those? They could be excessive drinking, drug use, they often engage in escaping types of behaviors.

Those could be things like working too much, promiscuity, maybe driving really fast often, when that’s not typically they’re like. And when men come to the physician’s office, they often don’t talk about feeling sad, “I’m kind of hopeless.”

They often talk about stress, “I’m stressed,” and the things that they present with again not necessarily what we would expect to see in a depressed person per se, but something more like I’m always pissed off at people, really angry.

It could be they’re more angry; they might say “I seem to be getting in fights with my mates at work, I’m arguing a lot with my wife lately, my kids you know I just don’t seem to have patience with them anymore.”

So those are some of the things that we look for in men, when we suspect that perhaps they’re suffering from depression.

Presenter: Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, Psychologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Psychologist

John Ogrodniczuk, PhD, discusses What are the Triggers for Depression

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