Seeking Depression Treatment When To Get Treatment For Depression

Many people have a hard time admitting they struggle with depression. Some people attribute their symptoms to other factors, such as stress or a painful breakup. Other people realize theyÕre depressed but instead of seeking depression treatment, they try to wait it out.

The sad result of all this is that, according to Mental Health America, the average depressed person waits for almost a decade before seeking depression treatment.

Men are less likely to get depression help than women. This is probably due to one or more of the following factors:

  • Fear of acknowledging a mental illness
  • Incorrect view of depression as a weakness or character flaw
  • Less obvious symptoms (i.e., violence instead of sadness)
  • Reluctance to talk about the symptoms of depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is not an emotion, a weakness or a reason to feel ashamed. Depression is a medical disorder that is characterized by low moods that persist for two or more weeks and prevent you from carrying out your regular day-to-day activities.

Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:

  • Agitation
  • Anger and aggression
  • Apathy
  • Changes in appetite or weight fluctuations
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Feelings of sadness and worthlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of interest in daily activities or hobbies
  • Oversleeping
  • Poor concentration
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Suicidal thoughts.

When Should You Get Depression Help?

Most people feel down once in a while. But when does just feeling down become clinical depression? Very simply, you should seek treatment for depression if one or more of the following is true for you:

  • You have some of the symptoms outlined above
  • These feelings have persisted for at least two weeks
  • These feelings are affecting your job, your family life or your social life
  • You are having thoughts about suicide.

How is Depression Diagnosed?

Your doctor will question you extensively about your symptoms and conduct a thorough examination to determine whether you have major depression or another medical disorder with similar symptoms.

To arrive at a depression diagnosis, your doctor will:

  • Conduct a physical and a neurological examination
  • Possibly conduct a psychiatric exam to test your mental functions
  • Send you for blood work.

Treatment Options

If youÕre diagnosed with depression, the next step is to begin treatment for depression. The methods of treatment include:

  • Depression medication
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Herbal remedies
  • Hospitalization
  • Light therapy
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Psychotherapy
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

Talk to your doctor about the best treatment option for you.

Do You Need to Seek Treatment?

Depression should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, depression can become more severe and your recovery can take much longer. YouÕll save yourself a lot of misery by seeking depression treatment immediately.

Resources

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2008). Male depression: Understanding the issues. Retrieved May 18, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/male-depression/MC00041.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2010). Symptoms. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175/DSECTION=symptoms.

Mental Health America. (n.d.) Ranking America’s mental health: An analysis of depression across the States. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from the Mental Health America website: www.nmha.org/go/state-ranking.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.) Treatments for depression. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from the National Alliance on Mental Illness website: www.camh.net/About_Addiction_Mental_Health/Mental_Health_Information/ Depressive_Illness/dep_illness_treatments.html.

Nemade, R., Staats Reiss, N., & Dombeck, M. (2007). Major depression and other unipolar depressions. Retrieved May 5, 2010, from the MentalHealth.net website: www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=438&cn=5.