Late fall can be rather bleak in Canada. Most of the leaves are off the trees, the weather is getting colder – and in some places snowy. Even harder are the shorter days, when driving to work and home is done in the dark.
We may think we Canadians are a ‘hardy sort’; but, for many people, late autumn leads into winter depression.
Everyone has periods of unhappiness in his or her life, but major depression is a clinical term used to describe the condition when feelings of sadness and hopeless last more than 2 months. Depression can limit your quality of life and contribute to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. In extremes, it can also lead to suicide.
1 in 6 Canadians experience some form of mental health disorder each year and the majority suffer from some form of depression or from anxiety. These continue to be the fastest rising diagnoses in the country, and the total cost to the Canadian economy is about $51 billion a year, with one-third of that due to lost productivity.
Still, depression is considered an illness that can be treated. Therapies often include psychological counseling and anti-depressant medication.