Mood disorders

Please scroll to the bottom to see the resource listing.


  • Depression is very different than just feeling sad.  Depression is something that lasts for weeks, months, or even years and like most mental illness it is a full body experience.  It is different in each person, in particular men and women often experience depression very differently, but many people have certain symptoms in common:

  • a persistent feeling of sadness, emptiness or anger.

  • a loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.

  • a lack of energy and motivation, severe fatigue.

  • slowed down thinking and difficulty concentrating or remembering.

  • insomnia or over sleeping.

  • a loss of appetite or overeating.

  • thoughts of death or self-harm.

  • restlessness and irritability.

  • often physical symptoms such as digestive complaints or chronic pain.

For more information about depression please click here. 



 Bipolar disorder

Also called “Manic Depression”, bipolar disorder is characterised by extreme mood swings.  Manic periods include symptoms such as elation, insomnia, racing thoughts and risk taking behaviour.  Depressed periods include extreme sadness, a loss of interest in things, and feelings of helplessness.  Both high and the lows are dangerous and treatment generally focuses on evening out the mood swings through medication and therapy.  There are 3 severities of bipolar disorder:

  • B ipolar I disorder – Severe shifts between manic and depressive episodes that last at least a week each.

  • Bipolar II disorder – A pattern of shifting between depressive and hypomanic episodes (less severe than manic periods).

  • Cyclothymia – Hypomanic and depressive symptoms lasting over 2 years but not reaching the severity of manic and depressive episodes.

For more information about bipolar disorder please click here. 



Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is also known as ‘winter blues’ and the further north you go the more you’ll find.  The symptoms tend to be the same as for depression, but oversleeping and over eating are particularly common.  It can be helpful for people with depression to track their yearly moods to see if there is a seasonal component.  The most effective treatments involve exposing yourself to as much sunlight as possible.  Although expensive light therapy devices exist it is much cheaper to install broad spectrum lights in your home to counter the minimal sunlight in a northern winter. 

For more information about seasonal affective disorder please click here. 


Postpartum Depression (please see postpartum disorders)



St. Joseph's Healthcare

Mood Disorders Program

  • Aims to provide treatment that is uniquely tailored to meet the needs of each individual – focusing on all aspects of the disorder and work with individuals to achieve a full recovery.

  • Program requires a specific referral form that must be completed by a physician.  Forms can be downloaded at the above link.

Call 905-522-1155 ext. 36236 to request a copy of the referral form. Trish can also answer any questions you may have about the services provided and how these are accessed.

North Hamilton Community Health Centre

Mental Wellness Toolkit Series Workshops - Mind Over Mood

  •  Open to all who exerperience mild to moderate depression and low mood. A 12 week group to teach tools to self manage.

  • See "Health Promotions" calendar, workshops are scheduled according to demand, leave name on list

For more information please contact Diana Desimone (905) 523-6611 ext. 3008, or Lexi Van Harten (905 523-6611 ext. 3007  


Mood Menders

  • Meetings are held for both individuals with a mood disorder and their supporters and are held on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesday of the month.
  • Sharing, coping skills, providing support and networking with others facing similar challenges.

Call 905-521-0090 x234 or mail for more information.

Vineland Peer Support Group

  • Faith based group for people living with mood disorder (depression / bipolar).
  • Living Room offers a safe, friendly place in a Christian setting for people with depression, anxiety, bipolar and psychotic disorders to meet and find out they are not alone.
  • Family Room is for family, friends and caregivers who want God and other people with similar experiences to share in the healing process.

Contact Ester at 905-562-4422 for more information.

Mental Health Helpline

  • Funded by Ontario government to provide information about mental health services and basic information about mental illness.

Information can be found by calling 1-866-531-2600.

Kids Help Phone

  • Canada's only bilingual phone and online counselling service for youth. Free anonymous and confidential.

Call to speak to a counsellor 1-800-668-6868.

Mental Health Rights Coalition

Drop-in Peer Support

  • Membership is free and allows access to a number of programs.

  • There are a variety of resources available including computer, internet, telephone and a resource library. There are brochures available and help in finding other community resources.

  • Peer support is always available either in the group setting with other mental health consumer/survivors or in private with a trained peer support worker.

Call 905-545-2525 for more information.

Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton (SACHA)

  • Free counselling (16 sessions) and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault.

  • They also offer various group support sessions in healing from the impact of sexual assault including self-esteem.

  • There is a waiting list, call to inquire.

Contact 905-525-4573 to register for access or 905-525-4162 to speak to the 24 hour support line.

PFLAG Canada - Hamilton Wentworth
  • The Hamilton-Wentworth chapter of PFLAG Canada is a community resource providing support, information and education, and community to people around issues of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation -- their own, and those of others.

Contact them at 1 888-530-6777 Ext 564 or on their Facebook page here for more information.

Contact Hamilton [for Children's Services]

Contact Hamilton is an entry point to services for children and youth with emotional, behavioural or developmental concerns and adults with developmental disabilities.

  • Information about available services;

  • Central intake and referral;

  • Coordination of services;

  • Planning for the children's and developmental services systems.

  • Anyone can refer a child/youth to Contact Hamilton for services and supports as long as they have appropriate consent to do so.

If you need information or would like to find services and supports, you can reach us by calling 905-570-8888 or email at


Mood Disorders Anxiety Disorders Personality Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Schizophrenia Addiction
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Postpartum Mood Disorders Eating Disorders
Chronic Pain Suicide Prevention  


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