Depression & Mood Disorders

A mood disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person feels about him or herself and even the way they eat, sleep, and think. An attitude of support and encouragement from those around us helps people with mood disorders feel confident in finding the help they need. Treatment and support can reduce and manage the symptoms.

Common mood disorders include:

  • Depression
    Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. A person who is depressed often feels low or down, empty or hopeless. A loss of interest in usual activities, a shift in appetite, disturbed sleep and decreased energy can occur. A major depressive episode is characterized by feeling depressed for two weeks or more.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
    The majority of people who suffer from SAD experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms during the shorter days of winter. 
  • Bipolar Disorder (formerly called Manic-Depressive Illness)
    This is marked by dramatic mood swings, with or without a history of major depression. With bipolar I disorder, these episodes may or may not be followed by a depressive episode. Bipolar II is characterized by major depressive episodes and less severe forms of mania.

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  • To access services in your local community, please visit our region map on the home page
  • Heads Up Guys – A website with health strategies for managing and preventing men’s depression

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The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Alberta is made up of eight regions. Additionally CHMA in Alberta includes the Centre for Suicide Prevention and a Divisional (Provincial) office located in Edmonton.

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