It’s Time to Treat Your Depression

depressionDepression is a serious illness that can be experienced in varying degrees.[1] Mild depression can make some areas of life challenging, but can often be combated by making some changes in certain areas of a person’s life.1 It typically doesn’t require professional help, but can be conquered with holistic methods such as exercise and adequate sleep.1 However, moderate depression significantly hampers daily life, and severe depression is often life threatening and requires immediate intervention.1

Some people affected by depression may not realize that they have it—they may only notice that they do not feel like themselves.1 Therefore, how do you know it is time to seek treatment?

Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Director at the California Institute of Technology’s student counseling center, Lee H. Coleman, Ph.D., ABPP, said, “Without oversimplifying things too much, I generally look at home much your symptoms are affecting your relationships, your daily activities, and how you think and feel.”1

If you are having difficulty functioning on a daily basis, having trouble at school or work, and are isolating yourself from others, it is time to seek help.1 Also, the following are additional signs that it is time to see a professional:

  • You have thoughts of suicide.1 Dwelling on thoughts about death and thinking about ways to die is an automatic flag for needing to seek immediate medical help.1
  • You feel sad all the time.1 If you are unable to shake your feelings of sadness that last over periods of weeks or months, affecting several parts of your life, your depression needs professional attention.1 You may feel uninterested in things and have a difficult time concentrating.1
  • You feel hopeless and/or helpless.1 You may feel as if there is no hope for you to feel better, and no one is able to help you out of this rut.1 Hopelessness is a negative cycle, and when you feel helpless, you become even more depressed.1
  • You feel guilty, worthless, and/or ashamed.1 Sometimes, depression is misperceived as a character flaw—many blame themselves for not being able to snap out of it.1 It’s a disorder, and it’s not your fault.1
  • You feel irritated, angry, and impatient.1 When you display symptoms of negative thinking, helplessness, hopelessness, and sadness, it is normal to feel angry and impatient.1 You become irritated with your negative feelings.1 Professional help can provide you with relief.
  • You want to be alone.1 You don’t want to go to work, attend social events, be around family or friends.1 When you don’t seem like yourself, you don’t want to partake in the activities that you used to.
  • You have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.1 Depression can make you feel tired—like you want to sleep all day, and as it also makes you feel hopeless, you often think “why not?”

If you have noticed any of these signs pertain to how you are feeling, it’s time to see a professional and break free from depression.1 A family physician can refer you to a specialist that can help you understand your symptoms and treat them fully.1

You know yourself best.1 If you have been having a hard time with your day-to-day routine from several weeks now, consider seeking help.1 It’s not you—and you aren’t alone.

[1] Tartakovsky, M. (2014). Telltale Signs It’s Time to Treat Your Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 3, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/03/01/telltale-signs-its-time-to-treat-your-depression/

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