Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


At times everyone feels blue. We all have days when we do not want to get out of bed or cannot shake the feeling of sadness. Depression, however, goes beyond this. This site will provide information about depression and how you can get help.

Facts on Depression

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

What is Depression?

Depression is an illness which is common but often misunderstood. It can occur without people realizing that they have it. Many people ignore the signs of depression, and some cope with it by abusing alcohol and/or drugs. Many perceive depression as an illness that carries with it such fear and shame that it prevents them from asking for help. It is not a personal weakness; it is an illness that can be for the most part successfully treated. For further information on defining depression see the site below.
Information contributed by the TRU Counselling Department.

What Causes Depression?

No one knows exactly what causes depression. Several factors, alone or combined, may be at work. For some, an obvious stress may bring on depression but for others, depression may occur without an apparent reason. Researchers have also found that some people with depression have a chemical imbalance. The following links will help expand on the causes of depression.
Information contributed by the TRU Counselling Department.

Signs of Depression

Depression can occur without people knowing that they have it. Many people ignore the signs of depression. When a depressed mood persists for several weeks, deepens and eventually starts interfering with work and social life it becomes an illness, or clinical depression.

Some signs of Depression are:

  • Disturbed thinking
  • Feelings of sadness or irritability
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activates once enjoyed
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, remember things or make decisions
  • Fatigue or loss of energy - withdrawal
  • Restlessness or decreased activity noticed by others
  • Complaints or physical aches and pains for which no medical causes can be found
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Depression, if not treated, can last many months or years.

Information contributed by the TRU Counselling Department.

Helping a Depressed Person

What do you do when someone you care about is depressed? This can be a very hard question to answer, especially when you are in a situation where you want to help but feel inadequate to do so. This page will provide you with suggestions of how to help when someone you know is depressed.

Tips for Helping a Depressed Person
  • Be supportive
  • listen to the whole story before drawing any conclusions
  • Encourage the person to seek medical care and counselling.
  • Be a good listener- you don't have to have all the answer
  • Don't criticize as it could lead to further feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Don't take over for them
  • Keep your cool and an even temper
  • Be patient
  • Remember, their depression is NOT your fault

Helpful phone numbers

Search To Top