This is the first episode of our in-person “interview with experts” series. Our host, Se Joon is based in beautiful Vancouver. The intention of these series is to raise more awareness about mental wellness, and psychology. “You never know who you could help just by sharing the right information at the right time.”
Se Joon also works as a writer on our YouTube channel’s scripts as well. So please support the work and contribution that he will be doing for psych2go.
Today’s interview is on the Domestic Violence with Vancouver Clinical Director, Danielle Holtjer. She operates a counseling centre called SkylarClinic which can be found here:
MCP, RCC, CCC, EMDR
If you have any questions or feedback for our interview series, we would love to hear them at
Depression – What You Need to Know
Depression is an illness that affects your mood. It isn’t something that you just “snap out of.” It can take time to find a treatment that works for you. But the sooner you seek help, the more likely you are to recover. Depression may occur by itself, but it often is linked to other illnesses such as heart disease or cancer, and it can be complicated by alcohol or drug use. If your symptoms are severe, medical treatments are likely to be needed, along with psychotherapy.
People of all ages and from many backgrounds can get depression. But it’s more common in people with certain genes, life experiences or other health conditions. It’s also more likely to happen if someone has had other mood disorders or has a family history of depression. And it’s more likely to develop if a person has had trauma, abuse or severe losses in their life. It’s also more common in women than men.
Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) is the main treatment for depression. It can involve one-on-one counseling or group therapy. Psychotherapy helps you learn how to change negative thoughts and behaviors, cope with painful situations and improve your relationship with others. It can also treat some medical problems that cause depression, such as thyroid disorder or perimenopause.
In some cases, alternative and complementary therapies, such as meditation, exercise or massage, can be helpful. But they should not be used as a substitute for traditional medicine or psychotherapy. If you are interested in these therapies, talk to your doctor first.
If you have mild to moderate depression, your treatment plan will likely include psychotherapy or self-help techniques. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe medication to boost the levels of certain chemical messengers in your brain called neurotransmitters. There are many different antidepressant medicines, and each acts on a different set of neurotransmitters. Some are fast-acting, and some last longer than others.
It’s important to keep in touch with friends and family. If you’re feeling down, try to spend time with them and do things that make you happy. Avoid drugs and alcohol, especially those not prescribed for you. Eat a healthy diet, and stay physically active. If you’re thinking about suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Or ask for help from a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community. And if you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, keep them company and stay with them until help arrives. Make sure they know that you are there for them and that you’re not judging them. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This is a free, confidential service for people in the United States and Canada. You can also check with your local health center for more information on local services.