Depression is an illness that affects many people and should to be acknowledged as such. It is no reason to be ashamed. Sometimes the reason people fail to seek help for their depression is that they feel ashamed. This is actually one of the feelings which is associated with depression anyway and so it makes the illness difficult to acknowledge.
If you have a constant feeling of being particularly low, some well-meaning friends might tell you that you should “snap out of it” or even start to get irritated by your mood.
However your feelings of depression may feed off all this negativity and you may start to wonder why you just can’t “snap out of it” as you have been told to do.
You then may start to feel that there is probably something wrong with you because it really should be so easy and it’s definitely “not right” that you feel so terribly bad all of the time.
Well, you are quite correct… it is not right, and there is something wrong with you. You have what is known as a medical condition and you deserve the same treatment in the same way as any other patient does.
Try seeing it this way… If you had a head cold for six months or more would you ignore it and hope it would go away? No, of course not, you would dose yourself up with appropriate treatments and you would go see a doctor to find out if there is an underlying reason for it lasting such a longtime.
Depression can be described as sadness that lasts for too long. It is true that everyone gets sad at some point but depression is much more than that. It is a feeling that you are weighed down and can’t bring yourself up from the depths of despair, and perhaps inn the end you may even consider that it’s time to give up trying.
You might notice that people start to avoid you after awhile. Then you might start feeling worse. You must try to find external help to treat the problem in the same way as you would if your head cold was to last 6mths or more. You might like to try herbal remedies – you may find some in your pharmacy or health care store – or you could see your doctor. Don’t for get there may even be an underlying physical cause for your depression.
If your doctor is not able to help you, they may refer you to a specialist or for counselling. Don’t give up on counselling because you don’t feel comfortable with your first choice of practitioner. In everyday life you will normally find that you get on with some people and clash with others, so it is good advice to seek another counselor if you don’t get along with the first. Be sure that it is a personality clash and not just that you don’t agree with what they are saying. It’s a good idea to go with your instincts, so that if you like the person and seemed to get on well with them in the first couple of sessions then stay with it because they might just have touched on the root cause of your problem and be able to help you more than realise at the time.
It is possible that in some cases, acknowledging your depression may be difficult because you have lived with it so long that you don’t know whether it is depression or not.
If you have perhaps grown up with depression, sometimes it is possible not to realise that you are actually depressed because you have no real experience or concept of how normal people should feel. You may be feeling angry all the time, or you may feel like going to the middle of an empty field and screaming at the top of your voice. Or you may even feel somewhat anxious, or have trouble sleeping or even find that you sleep too much.
If you are feeling any or all of the above then you really should consider talking to someone about your depression, even if it is a good friend or a family member to start with, they may be able to advise you where to get help and encourage you to seek professional assistance.
Once you have acknowledged the possibility that you have depression please remember that it is a medical condition and can be cured. You don’t have to feel this way for the rest of your life. Nobody really actually thinks of you the way you think they do, so try not to worry about that. Talk to someone about your feelings, it may be hard at first, but it will certainly be worthwhile. Seek and accept help from people you trust, and you will find that there is a different way of seeing life, a much happier and fulfilling way.