Mental Health On Depression: The First Step is to Acknowledge it

Depression is an illness and needs to be acknowledged as such. It is not a reason to be ashamed. The reason so many people fail to seek help for their depression is that they are ashamed. 

Unfortunately, this is one of the feelings associated with depression anyway and makes the illness difficult to acknowledge. 

If you are constantly feeling particularly low, well-meaning friends might tell you to “snap out of it” or even start to get irritated by your mood. Your depression will feed off this negativity and you start to wonder why you can’t just “snap out of it”. 

You then start to feel that there’s something wrong with you because it should be so easy and it’s just “not right” that you feel so bad all the time. 

Well, it’s not right and there is something wrong with you. You have a medical condition and you deserve treatment in the same way as any other patient. 

If you had a cold for six months would you ignore it and hope it would pass? No, you would dose yourself up with anything you could find and maybe see a doctor to find out if there’s an underlying reason for it to last so long.

Depression is sadness that lasts too long. Everyone is sad at some point in their lives but depression is more than that. It is a feeling that you can’t bring yourself up from the bottom. 

In the end you give up trying. People start to avoid you. You feel worse. You need to find external help to treat the problem in the same way as you would if you had a long-lasting cold. 

You could try herbal remedies – there are some in your pharmacy – or you could see your doctor. There may be an underlying physical cause for your depression.

If your doctor cannot help you they may refer you for counselling. Don’t be embarrassed to go for counselling but do make sure you are comfortable with your counsellor. 

If not, try another one. Counselling should not be discounted because you don’t feel comfortable with your first choice of practitioner. In everyday life you will naturally find that you get on with some people and clash with others. 

You cannot afford to have a personality clash with your counsellor. On the other hand you must be sure that it is a personality clash and not just that you don’t agree with what they are saying. 

A general rule is to go with your instincts. If you like the person and seemed to get on well in the first couple of sessions then stick with it because they might just have touched on the root cause of your problem.

In some cases, acknowledging depression may be difficult because you have lived with it so long that you don’t know whether it is depression or not. 

If you have grown up with depression it is possible not to realise that you are actually depressed because you have no concept of how normal people should feel. 

You may feel angry all the time or you may feel like going to the middle of an empty field and simply screaming. You may feel anxious, have trouble sleeping or even sleep too much. 

You may think that your family would be better off without you (and actually believe that to be true) and may have considered running away or suicide. 

You may worry about death all the time (yours or someone else’s) and not let yourself be happy just in case…… (or even “I must enjoy this now in case………..”). 

If you are feeling any or all of the above then you need to consider talking to someone. Even if it is just a friend or family member to start with, they may be able to advise you and encourage you to seek professional help.

Once you have acknowledged that you have depression please remember that it is a medical condition and can be cured. 

You don’t have to feel this way forever. Nobody actually thinks of you the way you think they do. Talk to someone. Seek and accept help and you will find that there is a different way of seeing life.

How to Put an End to Depression

Everybody gets the blues once in a while. It’s normal to feel sad on a rainy day, get sentimental over a lost love, or feel so terribly lonely during really low moments of your life. 

But once depression gets out of hand, it can wreak havoc on your mental state and drive you to such emotional lows – to the point that you might seriously choose ending your life. 

So if you think you’re experiencing extreme emotional lows, then you’d better do something about it.

What are the signs of depression?

  • Feeling sad without any apparent reason.
  • Getting mad at anything, everything, anyone, and everyone around you.
  • Thinking that your life is getting nowhere.
  • Feeling that whatever you do is not enough.
  • Feeling that you’re not good enough for anything.
  • Always feeling tired.
  • Feeling that there is no more hope for whatever troubles you.
  • Feeling that you don’t deserve to live in this world anymore.

These are some of the most common symptoms of depression. Recognizing these telltale signs can help lead you to take action before it becomes more serious. 

Knowing the root cause of these symptoms further boosts the chance of recovery.

Whatever the reason behind depression, it is always related to your state of mind, environment, and/or present circumstance. You may feel low if you are facing issues on work, marriage, or your financial status. 

The process of resolving these issues, however important, will inevitably result in stress and/or body aches. Emotional pain coupled with physical ills can really affect the way you view your life.

Another cause of depression is bad experiences: the death of someone important, loss of something significant, or similar unpleasant experiences that would haunt you for a long time. 

This could mean a humiliating event at your workplace or school, traumatic environment at home, etc. 

The best way to treat depression is to think positively. Thinking negatively about an already gloomy situation would only aggravate your mental state. 

It’s not the end of the world, and there’s a solution to every problem, yours included. Moping and sulking about it won’t do any good. 

Unfortunately, not all people see it that way. This is when depression starts to settle in. You think you’re the unluckiest person alive.

No one is there when you need help the most. It’s better to die than suffer all the injustice being delivered to you. 

Going to a psychiatrist to ask for help is one step toward finding the cure for depression. Various drugs can help you cope. 

However, these medications treat not the actual cause of depression, but only the symptoms. Complete recovery rests solely on your ability to have a positive outlook in life. 

Admittedly, this is easier said than done, so going to a psychiatrist doesn’t immediately mean that you’re going to ask medication for your depression. 

You could also ask your psychiatrist for help in developing a positive outlook and in controlling your depressive mood swings. 

Depression is a serious matter. It causes emotional and mental breakdown, and it can result to suicide if left untreated. 

This is why depression should be diagnosed immediately. It is not a disorder that is easy to cure; but always remember: you’re not alone in the world.

Even if you live your life as a recluse, there’s at least one person out there who cares for you and would be devastated if you allow yourself to lose the battle.

You’re a strong person. You’re not alone. Keep your loved ones close to you and you will feel invincible.

Camille McClellan, MD, DNM, MBS
Naturopathic practitioner
McClellan Natural Health, Wellness & Nutrition
Free Naturopathic/Homeopathic Consults Available

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