Depression is an illness that requires medical care.1 But, medical care cannot happen unless you decide to seek it. If you do get help, being involved in your ongoing treatment will be important.
Getting help from a healthcare professional is taking an important first step on your journey towards improvement.
Your doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist can recommend care customized to your needs. The healthcare professional you chose may recommend psychotherapy or antidepressant therapy. Taking an active role such as: discussing your symptoms, enquiring about your treatment, or seeking more advice, is essential to the success of your treatment.
More: See Finding a Family Doctor
A person with depression may feel guilty and at fault, which may make them hesitant to seek any outside help. This is a false impression.
In fact, if you suffer from depression, help from those close to you can be especially valuable. Expressing how you feel to people you trust when you are not well, crying if you want to…this is all part of a natural process which can make you feel better. Those close to you can also provide helpful accompaniment for medical care.
This is why, even though it can be difficult, it is important to accept help, express how you are feeling and trust those close to you. Try to discard concerns such as, “they will think I should just get over it,” or “they’ll think I’m a burden to them.”
Be honest and open about what you are experiencing. Simply talking about your depression and everything you are feeling can help you feel better.
Here are some ways of starting a conversation:
Share what you have learned about depression; for example, that it is a real illness that can be treated.1 Your friends and family are your support system. The better they understand your illness, the more support they can give you.
Remember that you are not alone. By asking your friends and family for support, you will enjoy the comfort of knowing that they are there for you. At the same time they will know they are an important part of your life as well. So do not be hesitant to ask them for help, such as by accompanying you to a doctor’s appointment or helping you obtain more information.