Changes in mood are a normal part of the human condition. That being said, when feelings of sadness become sever for prolonged time period and significantly affect daily functioning, it becomes a problem. Depression, also known as clinical or major depression, is a mood disorder that will affect one in eight Canadians at some point in their lives. It changes the way people feel, leaving them with mental and physical symptoms for long periods of time. It can look quite different from person to person.
Depression can be triggered by a life event such as the loss of a job, the end of a relationship or the loss of a loved one, or other life stresses like a major deadline, moving to a new city. or having a baby. However, sometimes it seems not to be triggered by anything at all. One of the most important things to remember about depression is that people who have it can't just "snap out of it" or make it go away. It's a real illness, and the leading cause of suicide (Help Guide, 2019).
This workbook will provide insight into depression, low mood, and anxiety and how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you cope.
A website with information about depression, as well as treatment and coping mechanisms.
A toolkit with information and worksheets to put in place strategies to cope with relapse of depression and low mood.
Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. This can mean things such as moving away from home, loss of a friendship or relationship, your parents divorcing, the death of a family member, friend, or pet.
Grief is often said to occur in stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, many other stage models have been developed with as many as ten stages. Since not all people go through the same stages, or in the same order, and many people cycle back through these stages over time, it's helpful to focus on grieving as having common feelings, reactions, and symptoms (Help Guide, 2019). These include:
Although most individuals protect themselves from pain and injury, some people hurt themselves on purpose to help them manage bad feelings or thoughts. People who self-harm don’t do it to end their life—instead, self-harm may be the best way they know to cope (Here To Help, 2016).
It can be scary to talk about the very thing you have worked so hard to hide, but it can also be a huge relief to finally let go of your secret and share what you’re going through. Do this by focusing on your feelings rather than sharing details about your self-harm behaviours, communicate in whatever way you feel most comfortable, and give the person time to process what you tell them.
Understanding what triggers you to cut or self-harm is a vital step towards recovery. If you can figure out what function your self-injury serves, you can learn other ways to get those needs met-which in turn can reduce your desire to hurt yourself.
The idea of paying attention to your feelings-rather than numbing them or releasing them through self-harm-may sound frightening to you. You may be afraid that you’ll get overwhelmed or be stuck with the pain. But the truth is that emotions quickly come and go if you let them.
Self-harm is your way of dealing with unpleasant feelings and difficult situations. If you’re going to stop, you need to have alternative ways of coping so you can respond differently when you feel like cutting or hurting yourself.
If you self-harm to express pain and intense emotions, you could:
If you self-harm to calm and soothe yourself, you could:
If you self-harm because you feel disconnected or numb, you could:
If you self-harm to release tension or vent anger, you could:
Other substitutes for the cutting sensation:
A list of alternative coping mechanisms to help reduce or avoid self-harming when feeling a variety of different emotions.
If you struggle with self-injury, this handout will help you identify negative feelings and situation related to self-injury, as well as provide alternative coping mechanisms.
Suicide is a major cause of premature and preventable death. It is a self-inflected, intentional injury taken to escape negative feelings and end pain. While the link between suicide and mental health problems, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis (Mind Your Mind, 2020).
Aboriginal individuals are 4X more likely to die by suicide.
Ideation: Thinking about suicide
Substance use: Problems with alcohol or other substances
Purposelessness: Feeling like there is no purpose in life or reason for living
Anxiety: Feeling intense anxiety or feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
Trapped: Feeling trapped or feeling like there is no way out of a situation
Hopelessness or Helplessness: Feeling no hope for the future, feeling like things will never get better
Withdrawal: Avoiding family, friends, or activities
Anger: Feeling unreasonable anger
Recklessness: Engaging in risky or harmful activities normally avoided
Mood change: A significant change in mood (CMHA, 2020)
Thoughts of suicide are distressing. It’s important to talk about your experiences with your doctor, mental health care team, or any other person you trust. They can help you learn skills to cope and connect you to useful groups or resources (Mind Your Mind, 2020).
Other things to try include:
Learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and how you can help those at risk.
A toolkit from the Mental Health Commission of Canada that can help you manage crisis situations that may have impacted you.
A toolkit from the Mental Health Commission of Canada that help with managing and understanding the grief of suicide.
1-800-456-4566 | Text 45645
Get 24/7 support.
Resources an individual may find helpful when it comes to understanding depression and anxiety or helping a loved one on the road to recovery. Provides information in English, French, Chinese and Punjabi.
1-800-668-6868 | Text CONNECT to 686868
Get 24/7 national support for young people in Canada.
Get 24/7, free, and confidential support if in distress.
A non-profit organization in Red Deer that offers information, education, and referral services.
Red Deer College Counselling Services
100 College Boulevard
PO Box 5005
Red Deer, AB T4N 5H5
Counselling Services Hours
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*extended hours on Wednesday until 6 pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday,
and all Statutory Holidays
Red Deer College recognizes that our campus is situated on Treaty 7 land, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuu T’ina and Stoney Nakoda peoples, and that the central Alberta region we serve falls under Treaty 6, traditional Métis, Cree and Saulteaux territory. We honour the First Peoples who have lived here since time immemorial, and we give thanks for the land where RDC sits. This is where we will strive to honour and transform our relationships with one another.
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