You may be aware that depression is a common disorder, but did you know that of the 19 million adult Americans affected by it, only about one-third get the necessary treatment? Don’t let people in your community slip through the cracks – teach them about depression and the many tools and resources available to help them heal from it.
Are You Depressed or Just Feeling Down?
Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects how you feel, think and handle everyday life. It is more than just feeling down from time to time, which is a normal part of daily life. When feelings of intense sadness, hopelessness and despair don’t go away, and it seems impossible just to get through the day, you may have depression.
If your depression seriously interferes with your ability to live your day-to-day life, you need professional treatment – especially if you are having suicidal thoughts or behaving dangerously.
You Can Heal from Depression
Most types of depression are treated by using psychotherapies (e.g., talk therapy) and medications such as antidepressants. There are many approaches to treatment; do research and question the potential provider to make sure he or she is a good match for your needs.
Some types of professional providers to choose from:
- Social workers
- Mental health counselors
To find a therapist, ask for recommendations from your health care provider or someone who has used a therapist for depression. You can also find listings at websites such as ABCT and Psychology Today.
Keep in mind that the professional’s experience with your specific problem, specialized training and how well you “click” may be more important than the type or number of degrees he or she has.
Don’t Resist Counseling!
You may think you can deal with your problems on your own, that you’ll feel better in time or that no one can help you.
Here’s the reality:
- If you were able to deal with your problems and your feelings, you probably would have already done so.
- If you have been feeling depressed for more than two weeks, you will likely become more depressed as time passes.
- Feeling helpless and hopeless are symptoms of depression and not evidence that you can’t get better. Professionals have specialized training and spent years learning how to help you get better.
It’s normal to feel a bit uncomfortable when you’re opening up to a therapist or counselor about your personal issues and feelings. However, as you feel heard and understood, these feelings will decrease. You’ll eventually look forward to your sessions as you start seeing improvements in how you think and feel.
When you’re feeling depressed, you may withdraw and isolate yourself, but reaching out to family and friends is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You can also tap into support groups.
If you are having suicidal thoughts or urges, go to the emergency room of your local hospital, dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
For more information on the various products available to purchase for your community, browse the QuickSeries® library of health guides, including Depression – Learn to Heal the Hurt.