Major depression or clinical depression can feel overwhelming. Spending time with family and friends or doing activities that were once enjoyable may feel exhausting and emotionally taxing. Those struggling with may find themselves asking tough questions that could indicate undiagnosed major depression.
“Was Life This Hard Before?”
Depression affects the basic human functioning of a person and hinders everyday life. Mix together a tragic event with debilitating negative self- thoughts, insomnia/hypersomnia, undereating/overeating, well-meaning but misunderstanding family and friends, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. This is not to mention daily stressors from everyday responsibilities. Soon, beginning each day becomes more difficult and spending time with loved ones requires more energy. Major Depression also looks like disinterest in activities and hobbies previously enjoyed. Over time, the walk through life becomes a cyclical trudge of monotony and listlessness.
“What’s Wrong with Me?”
Many factors contribute to depression. Major events, such as death or loss, genetics, serious illness, certain medications, abuse, or financial circumstances can trigger the onset of depression. Often, combinations of these happen simultaneously – leading to an increased likelihood of major depression. Moreover, most sufferers are unaware of the compounded effects and do not seek help until their symptoms are unbearable.
“Am I Alone?”
According to the National Institute on Mental Health, 16.1 million people experienced at least one major depressive episode during the year 2015. Notably, one out of two people will have some form of depression in their lifetime. It affects every demographic and is found in all cultures.
“Why Won’t I Get Help?”
One of the main reasons individuals who may have major depression do not seek help is shame for not being ‘normal’. A study from a group of European psychiatric researchers found that the impact of shame for depression towards oneself was greater than anticipated shame by others. In other words, how you view yourself influences whether you will seek help. In addition to shame, Margarita Tartakovsker, Associate Editor of Psych Central, lists severity, questions about getting started, time and energy, and money as reasons for why people do not get help. While waiting may seem like a good idea, it can lead to longer depressive episodes, other illnesses and even suicide. In fact, depression is a completely treatable disease.
“Where Do I Start?”
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing increased feelings of sadness, low energy, decreased interest and/or difficulty participating in usual activities or hobbies, difficulty getting or staying asleep, thoughts of suicide, weight loss or gain , consider these options:
- Screen Yourself or a Loved One
- Seek out a physician or licensed mental health professional.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors who treat mental health illnesses by finding organic causes and can prescribe medication.
- Psychologists are skilled in assessing and diagnosing mental health disorders and can provide therapy.
- Licensed therapists are trained to evaluate and treat mental problems through counseling and therapy.
- Talk to someone you trust about the changes you’ve see in yourself or a loved one
- Become educated about depression in general
- If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call
- 1 (800)SUICIDE or 1(800) 784-2433
- Go to the nearest emergency room.
Depression can feel like it has taken away your natural resilience to life’s challenges. It can make you feel powerless. However, you can take action. You can get your life back.
Fuller Life is here to restore you to health and advance you to a wholeness you never dreamed possible.
See our Scoop it! Page on Dancing with Depression.
Clinical Supervision by Amy Fuller, PhD, LMFT, LPC
- Bernstein, E. (2010, September 7). A way out of depression. . Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703946504575470040863778372
- Murray, C. J. L., & Lopez, A. D. (1996). The global burden of disease: A comprehensive assessment of mortality ans disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Cambridge, MA: Published by the Harvard School of Public Health on behalf of the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
- Orenstein, B. W. (2012, August 30). Beth W. Orenstein. . Retrieved from http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression/if-depression-goes-untreated/
- Schomerus, G., Matschinger, H., & Angermeyer, M. C. (2009). The stigma of psychiatric treatment and help-seeking intentions for depression. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 259(5), 298–306. doi:10.1007/s00406-009-0870-y
- Tartakovsky, M. (2013). What Prevents People From Seeking Mental Health Treatment?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 15, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/01/14/what-prevents-people-from-seeking-mental-health-treatment/
- Causes of depression. (2016, August 26). Retrieved October 15, 2016, from WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/causes-depression#1