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What Is Clinical Depression?

Understand the Symptoms, Nature, and Internal Experience of Common Mood Disorders

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PLEASE NOTE: We are working on a new PREVIEW video for this course. Meanwhile, we have made two videos in the first section of the course free to view before you sign up. Just click on the lecture in the list below.

Depression, by some estimates, is the leading cause of disability in the developed world. Millions of people experience it each year. Yet many people who have depression have never been told much about it.

This course describes the nature of the most common mood disorders - including major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder. We review the symptoms used in making the diagnosis, and the challenges in properly diagnosing a problem for which there is no simple blood test.

The course provides a model - the Floating Diamond - for breaking down and understanding the various elements of the depressive experience. Using it, we discover that depression is not, in fact, a mood disorder. It is a disorder of virtually everything: physiology, thoughts, behaviour, and, yes, emotion.

We explore a central problem in depression: the fact that symptoms (such as sleep disruption) tend to feed back and intensify the disorder. Depression is not simply a vicious circle - it is a COLLECTION of vicious circles, all working at once.

We move beyond the diagnostic criteria to discuss the additional symptoms and aspects of the depressive experience, exploring factors such as brain fog, memory disruption, sexual problems, and more.

PLEASE NOTE: Depression is an enormous topic, and in this course we are mainly focussed on the experience of the problem. We do not go into detail about either causes or treatment approaches - these are covered in other courses. As well, this course is not a substitute for treatment, which should be carried out with the help of a qualified healthcare professional. We also caution against any attempt at self-diagnosis.


Your Instructor


Dr Randy Paterson
Dr Randy Paterson

Randy Paterson is the Director of Changeways Clinic, a private mental health center, and author of How to be Miserable, The Assertiveness Workbook, Private Practice Made Simple, and Your Depression Map. He is also the lead author of the Changeways Core Program, one of the world's most widely used group therapy treatment protocols for depression. He presents workshops for professional mental health providers across Canada and internationally.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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