When you suffer from symptoms of depression it is can be easy to dismiss what is happening as temporary or just a minor setback. Some people might be afraid to seek help due to anxiety in acknowledging that there may be a problem. Others may fear stigma of what their family or friends may think or even perceive depression as some sort of weakness. Still others may worry that they do not have the time or money to devote to therapy or they may be afraid that a doctor will push medications on them that they do not want. For whatever reason, some people who suffer from depression will not get help or treatment because they feel it is a risk to do so. But here’s the thing. In many circumstances it is more of a risk to not get help.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness month I am going to help you identify those factors which make it essential that you do not wait any longer to seek treatment for your depression.
It is time to get help for your depression when…
1. When you have been experiencing symptoms of depression that just won’t go away for two weeks or more. One of the DSM criteria for Major Depressive Disorder is that the duration is for two weeks or more, but many people wait to get help only after their symptoms go on for months. By then, depression symptoms are more entrenched and recovery takes that much longer.
2. When you have other people in your care. If you are taking care of children or an elderly or disabled parent, you need to take care of yourself especially if you have other people who depend upon you. Your mental health and well being greatly affects others. If you are a caretaker who suffers from depression please get help early on so that you can continue to give to those who need you the most.
3. When your depression is beginning to affect your work. If you are starting to miss days of work, calling in sick and arriving late due to your depression then it is time to think about getting some help. If you find yourself unable to perform the demands of your job because the symptoms of your depression make you unable, it is time to seek treatment. The last thing you want is to lose your job as this event will surely cause you to be even more depressed and less likely to get the treatment you need.
4. When your depression affects your physical health. Some of the symptoms of depression can include weight gain or loss and difficulties sleeping. Depression can also make you feel extremely weary and fatigued. These bodily symptoms combined with stress can lower your immune system to the point where you are getting ill much more frequently and subsequently increasing your feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Don’t let your body take the toll for your mood. Get some help for your depression so that you can feel mentally and physically well.
5. When you no longer enjoy things you used to enjoy. Maybe you are a person who loves movies, music, and dancing. But this past month or so, you have no interest in these activities and that you used to love. And even when you do engage in your favorite activities and hobbies, they don’t give you pleasure like they used to. This is a strong sign that your depression is robbing you of your zest for life. Don’t let depression do this to you. Get some help so that you can return to enjoying life again.