Mood disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the general population. In a 2002 survey conducted by Statistics Canada, 5.3 percent of the Canadian population over the age of 15 reported symptoms that meet the criteria for a mood disorder. Additionally, 4.8 percent of these met the criteria for major depression. For this, the Canadian government offers support for people suffering from depression through the Disability Tax Credit for Depression.
What is Depression?
No one is happy all of the time. Everyone goes through high and low periods in his or her life. Sometimes, we say we are “depressed” or “in a depression” to describe the low periods, but normal life experiences shouldn’t be confused with the serious medical issue known as Major Depression. Major depression is a very real illness that can have serious and, sometimes, even fatal results. Depression can affect the entire body, not just the mind. Some physical symptoms of depression are:
- Stomach upset
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Changes in weight or appetite
Other common symptoms of depression are:
- Feelings of sadness or loss
- Anxiety or restlessness
- Loss of motivation
- Lack of interest in sex
- Withdrawal from friends or society
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Thoughts of suicide
Facts about Depression
- One in 7 adults, or 13 percent of the Canadian population, identified symptoms that met the criteria for a mood disorder at some point in their lives.
- 12.2 percent of the population met the criteria for major depression at some point in their lives.
- 2.4 percent met the criteria for Bipolar disorder
- Studies consistently show that women have higher documented rates of depression.
- The female-to-male ratio averages 2:1
Disability Tax Credit for Depression and Other Support
If you, or someone you love are experiencing at least five of the symptoms of depression, and they have lasted more than two weeks, you should see a doctor or other healthcare professional as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one is experience recurring thoughts of suicide, seek medical help immediately. There are people who can help such as:
- Your physician, who will diagnose your depression based on your symptoms
- A mental health professional, who can refer you to programs or doctors who can treat your symptoms.
- A psychiatrist, who can prescribe medications if needed
- Your local mental health department, which can provide you with information on where to go for help, and find resources to help educate you and your family about the disease process and treatment options
- Canadian Psychological Association, which is always looking for new treatments to help people with depression.
- Canada Child Tax Benefit, which is a tax-free benefit for children who have been diagnosed with a chronic disorder
- Disability Tax Credit for Depression, which can help you and your loved ones with extra expenses
If you think you or someone you love may be depressed, it is important to get help as soon as possible. There are many options for treatment, and if money is an issue, don’t forget to research your eligibility for receiving Adult and Child Disability Tax Credits.