Why, When and How To Seek Treatment For Depression
If not properly treated, chronic depression can cause a significant number of problems in all areas of your life. Depression can last for weeks, months, or in some cases even years. This leaves an individual in a state on constant sadness, fatigue, and just overall run down. In addition to the underlying symptoms, depression can increase the risk for a number of other problems to develop. Before you know it, not only are you trying to cope with the sadness but you are facing financial problems, social problems, and physical problems as well.
Without Depression Treatment, Problems Worsen
When asking clients how their depression affected their life, I got a number of different responses but the overall theme was that without depression treatment their problems only got worse. One client told me that as time went on she began to feel so worthless that her work ethic at her job started to decline and she was facing the possibility of losing her job. The added stress of her poor job performance and the possibility of not being able to pay her bills made things even worse. All of this combined with her depression caused her to be unable to sleep at night causing her to constantly be exhausted.
Another client talked about how he slowly become more and more socially isolated. He said that there would be days that he would struggle to get out of bed and the idea of going to a social gathering seemed unbearable. The more invitations he turned down and the more engagements he canceled, the less he was invited. Eventually his friends stopped reaching out and his family was at a loss for what they could do to help. Lonely and still struggling with depression, my client mentioned that there were times when he contemplated suicide.
When To Seek Treatment for Depression
Overall, the sooner that you recognize you have depression and get treatment, the better your chances for recovery will be. The first thing you need to do is recognize how negatively this mental disorder is affecting your life and that you do indeed need help. Here are some signs that it is time to get help for your depression:
- If you have been experiencing symptoms of depression for two weeks or more. Sometimes people wait for months before they decided to get help, but by then symptoms can be much worse and recovery could take longer.
- If depression is impacting your work. If you are starting to miss days of work or are arriving late due to depression then it is time to get help. Additionally, if you find that you are having a hard time keeping up with the demands of your work.
- If your depression is starting to affect your physical health. For some individuals depression causes changes in weight, difficulties sleeping, and lowered immune system leading to more illnesses.
- You notice that you have started to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Alcohol use when depressed can only lead to greater problems and should be addressed before an addiction develops.
How To Get Help for Depression
Even if you recognize that you may have depression and know that you need help, going about finding treatment can be hard. A good first step is to make an appointment with your primary care physician. He/she is qualified to evaluate you and rule out any other causes for the symptoms you are experiencing. Your doctor will be able to recommend some treatment options for you and may even refer you to another health professional that will further evaluate you and offer counseling.
If you do not have a primary care physician or insurance, there are many other sources of help that you can use. Find a community mental health center, a free health clinic, use an employee assistance program, and seek out a faith-based clinic or member of the clergy. All of the professionals at these locations can assist you in finding the type of help that you need. They can point you to mental health professionals that works alongside you to develop a treatment care plan that will help you manage the symptoms of your depression. (Depression Support: Why You Need It, Where to Find It)
While treatment can be scary, in my experience, my clients are much happier today and are glad that they took the initial first step to seek out help for their depression. If you are scared to face it alone, reach out to a close friend or family member that can go to appointments with you and help you make these depression treatment decisions. With proper medication for depression and therapeutic approaches, depression can be overcome and there are many sources out there available to help.
You can also find Lauren Hardy on Google+.
Treatment program: Lauren Hardy, MA, writes on behalf of The Refuge, an internationally-respected residential treatment center that focuses upon treating adults struggling with depression, addiction and other co-occurring disorders.
Hardy, L. (2014, February 11). Why, When and How To Seek Treatment For Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalhealthtreatmentcircle/2014/02/why-when-and-how-to-seek-treatment-for-depression
Author: Lauren Hardy, MA
I agree that waiting too long to get treated for depression is only making it worse. My brother had to get treated for his depression. Luckily, he didn't wait months and months, but only a few weeks. I think this really helped him in how fast he was able to get back to his normal self.
I've struggled with depression since I was a kid - seeking treatment was scary, but I'm so glad I did. Life isn't always so easy, but it's so much more manageable with therapy and antidepressants.
Today, depression indicates a pandemic medico-social issue.The main problem with this common psychiatric disorder is its ignorance by professional and laic community. Misinterpretations on depression from experts remains a great and unforgivable mistake with senseless and fatal consequences to global welfare of depressed person. On the other hand, the bad repercussions of untreated depression embrace family network system and extensive sociocultural milieu where respective depressed person live and work. These and many others unrepaired complications of depression to global life functioning put forward the necessity to treat and manage depression by current psychiatric guidelines. Moreover, when it is well-known fact that depression is treatable disease.