Depression is a painful, debilitating illness that can lead to a wide variety of other serious health issues, and potentially even suicide. You would think that given these dangers, people would be keen to seek out treatment, yet there are countless sufferers of depression who do nothing, and they do so for a variety of different reasons. With therapy, medication, or a combination of both, depression can be treated and brought under control, but the person in pain has to be willing to make that first move. Listed below are just some of the reasons why they choose not to.
Believe it or not, there are many, many people out there suffering from depression who don’t even know that they have it. Sure, they may know that something is not quite right with them, but they will chalk it up to a case of the blues or just feeling a little off. In those cases, they start to believe that they will get better over time, except that time never comes. These people can often become so used to feeling that way that they accept it as just being part of their make-up, not fully understanding that they are playing a potentially dangerous game. After all, no one knows exactly how other people feel. Often people who feel depressed assume everyone else struggles in the same way.
For others, especially men, there is a feeling of shame that would come with having to admit that they are depressed. Men grow up being told to “suck it up” and “stop behaving like a baby.” There is an expectation placed on men from an early age that they have to be strong, which is why so many view admitting that they are depressed as a sign of weakness. Too many people would rather suffer in silence than seek out the help that would get them back to feeling much better about themselves, and the world in general. Often times, these men turn to “self-medicating” with alcohol, drugs, working too much…(the list goes on).
Another reason why people with depression keep it to themselves is because of a fear of the treatment options. As you probably already know, every medication comes with a laundry list of side effects, leaving many to feel that those issues will actually be worse than the depression itself. When it comes to therapy, many folks simply don’t enjoy the idea of opening up and spilling their problems. Some of the problems that they have may be of a sensitive nature, and they will feel a real lack of comfort about having to talk about them after what may have been many, many years.
The reality of the situation is that depression does not get better with time, and it can only get better with the proper professional help. It all begins with getting a proper diagnosis from your therapist or medical physician, as they can then help you decide which of the treatment options available will be best suited to your specific needs. It may be that antidepressants are the answer, or perhaps a combination of medication and therapy. There is no shame in admitting that you need help, and the world will look a whole lot clearer once you take that first step to get diagnosed. Many people are living in your same situation, but many others have gotten the help they deserve. Please remember that a therapist has most likely become a therapist because they want to help. I can speak to you from my experience as a therapist: I am so proud of people who come in for help. I think it shows great strength and a willingness to make their own life better. I hope you feel comfortable calling and getting help. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call me or email me to ask me a question about depression or about how to get help.