The Importance of Seeking Help for Depression
It's not always easy to take the first steps towards seeking help for depression, or, indeed, any other mental health problem. But it's important not to cope with depression alone. Having the right medical and/or therapeutic help in place will help your chances of depression recovery. You need to understand the importance of seeking help for depression.
Seeking Help for Depression Means Someone is On Your Side
Once you seek help for your depression, you're no longer on your own with it. You have a team, and it's their job as well as yours to help you overcome your depression. It was hard for me to talk to my general practitioner (GP) about my depression symptoms at first, but I felt like a burden had been removed when I did. Why should being in mental or emotional pain be any different to physical pain? We'd go to the doctor if we had a physical pain we couldn't explain away, wouldn't we? It's just as important to keep our minds healthy as our bodies, and we deserve help just like any other patient.
Keep an Open Mind when Seeking Help for Depression
When I first went to my GP about my mental health around 10 years ago, I was absolutely adamant I didn't want any medication. I had a lot of preconceptions about antidepressants, and the kind of people who took them. I was worried about side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Of course, it's important to be fully informed about the possible effects of the treatments for depression, but don't be swayed by stigma and scare stories. Nobody will be able to tell that you are taking antidepressants.
I eventually did accept medication (in the form of SSRI antidepressants) for my depression and anxiety, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts at therapy. The medication in itself wasn't necessarily a cure for my depression, but it did make me calmer and more receptive to trying different therapeutic approaches. Taking a SSRI also helped me with my tendencies to self-medicate with alcohol, food or drugs, and cope better at work. Unless you choose to tell anyone, nobody is going to know that you use medication to treat a mental health problem.
Seeking Help for Depression from Friends and Family
Your friends and family should also be on your side when it comes to helping you manage and eventually beat your depression. Being open about your illness with those close to you can help them understand what’s going on for you, and why they may think you’ve “not been yourself.” I found that my close friends were great with it, but that my family struggled with my mental health problems. My parents, in particular, found it hard and wondered if they were to blame for it in some way. I don't want them to blame themselves because depression can strike anyone at any time, even people who appear to be very successful in life. The causes of depression are usually a combination of things, and like most other illnesses, it doesn't discriminate based on age, sex, family background or bank balance.
Encourage your friends and family to get informed about depression and how it affects people - direct them to this site, or many of the helpful mental health charities out there, who have plenty of resources for friends and family of depression sufferers. After all, the more we understand about depression, the less scary it is. And if you really can't talk to those closest to you, consider joining a support group, even one online. That's how I first connected with other people with depression and realized that I wasn't alone. It's just an illness like any other, and it can be beaten -- you just need a good team around you.
Image Attribution: Dawn Willis Manser, used under Creative Commons license.
Smith, L. (2015, July 16). The Importance of Seeking Help for Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2015/07/the-importance-of-seeking-help-for-depression
Author: Liz Smith
Could it be worth doing a blog post on how we can idenitify the signs of depression in our family and freinds. We can easily try and hide our fears and anxieties or appear as if we are coping just fine - or find it too difficult to reach out to someone without some encouragement. There is a starting point here at Clare James Counselling Services
I've been unemployed since December of last year due to a bipolar episodes. I have been successfully cut off from the one safety net I have known for more than nine years...my job in retail sales. I have never felt so isolated and lonely.
I am paralyzed by fear that seeking new work they will find out about my bipolar. I was drug tested for one job and came up positive for benzodiapam. Brought proof from my doctor for such prescription use for anxiety. And have never heard anything from this place who had big sign advertising Help Wanted. I passed all the other pre-employment exams and tests! I was automatically asked by the HR person "do you take your meds regularly for your bipolar"? I just get the feeling once some employer finds out about my mental health issues they would rather not mess with me.