Discovering what helps depression go away
There is one type of thought nearly every person with depression has in common regardless of their age, race, or gender. And if, like me, you have found yourself struggling with depression, you may have wondered, “When is this going to go away? When am I going to feel better?” The unfortunate truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, no matter how much we want there to be. It’s easier to handle stressful situations when we know they are temporary, but when we find ourselves dealing with the same problems day after day, it drains us. And when you are already dealing with feelings of depression, that uncertainty is the last thing you need.
The there is no concrete answer as to when depression goes away because everyone’s experience with depression is unique. We each have our own circumstances that impact our individual experience. We are all uniquely made; none of us are the same. The good news is that some techniques and treatments can help your mood, even if you don’t know when your depression will lift entirely.
The search for a solution
Mental Health America’s 2017 annual report, The State of Mental Health in America, found that more than half of adults who are struggling with mental health challenges do not receive adequate treatment. That shows a real problem. If you are fighting depression, it is crucial that you seek professional help and get the treatment that you need. Depression is not something to suffer through on your own, and it is not something I believe you should just wait out to hopefully “feel better.”
There are several lifestyle changes that can help when you are struggling with depression. But remember: people respond differently to different interventions because depression has various triggers. If you are experiencing mild depression, you could see a positive outcome by trying the following things:
- Getting outdoors
- Sticking to a sleep schedule
- Changing your diet
- Keeping stress in check
- Talking with a trusted friend
While these ideas can help some people, many others are living with depression that is beyond the help of these solutions. If you feel more serious depression is affecting you, it is crucial that you get the help you need. DO NOT DELAY! It is time to take action. Schedule an appointment with your physician and meet with a therapist. Counseling and prescription medication can make a big difference in treating your depression.
The ultimate goal is for your depression to go away. But what if it doesn’t? Even if you haven’t yet overcome your struggle with depression 100 percent, you can make improvements. Fighting depression is an active fight. You need to keep searching for what will help you the most because successful treatments differ from one person to the next. Continue to work with your doctor to find which prescription medications are the best solution for you. Continue to meet with your therapist to voice your thoughts and feelings.
Don’t give up searching for a solution, because even if you don’t find yourself completely free from depression, you can see improvement. For so many years, I wanted an answer. I would become frustrated with my therapist because I just wanted to take the pain of my depression away. And even if I couldn’t make it go away, I wanted a few hours a day when I wasn’t suffering in emotional pain. My depression hasn’t gone away. However, it’s more manageable. In fact, I’ve used the word “happy” for the first time in my life to describe how I have been feeling recently.
If you are fortunate enough to overcome depression completely, I am happy for you. Some people can overcome it and live depression-free for the rest of their lives. However, be aware that many times the same triggers that caused a first bout of depression can cause it to come back. This is not something to live in fear of, but it is something to be aware of.
Richard Kravitz, M.D., and professor of internal medicine at the University of California, told Prevention.com that "depression doesn’t always look like debilitating sadness,” and that it’s important to identify depression early because the faster you receive treatment, the better the chance you have of getting back to feeling like yourself again.
After working past depression once, or just finding that your depression has improved, stay aware of any returning symptoms so you can catch them early. Do not wait for depression to become debilitating before seeking help. In my case, depression hasn’t gone away and may never go away. Regardless, I will keep facing my depression head on to continue down a path to self-discovery, and I hope you continue doing the same.
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Mike Veny is one of America’s leading mental health speakers and a high energy corporate drumming event facilitator. He delivers educational, engaging, and entertaining presentations to meetings and conferences throughout the world. As a 2017 PM360 ELITE Award Winner, Mike was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the healthcare industry. He starred in several OC87 Recovery Diaries documentary films. Check out his compelling TEDx talk, Mental Illness is An Asset.