Doc Talk #16 – Depression



Depression is common – 20% of Canadians will have a significant mental health problem at some point during their life.

Signs of depression include:

  • Persistence of low mood for more than 2 weeks
  • Not enjoying any activities (‘anhedonia’)
  • Helplessness
  • Pessimism/hopelessness
  • Sleep/appetite disturbance


There are a number of myths about anti-depressant medication:

  • Antidepressants are NOT generally addictive (although some medications such as benzodiazepines can be)
  • Antidepressants do NOT change your personality – they are merely intended to return you to back to your usual personality
  • Antidepressants do NOT make people suicidal – but in the first couple of weeks ‘activation syndrome’ can develop, which is why it is important to follow up with your physician in the first couple of weeks of starting an antidepressant


The Moodgym website for online cognitive behavioural therapy (free!) can be found here

The AnxietyBC resource can be found here

The Mental Health crisis line is 1-877-303-2646

Health Link is another resource for mental health in Alberta – call 811

In Vegreville, the Mental Health Unit can be contacted on 632-2714.