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How to Get Help for Depression and Reclaim Your Happiness

Let’s face it! If you’re suffering from depression you know how it interferes with your life. Trying to accomplish the simplest tasks now becomes monumentally difficult. Your once open, energetic, happy personality has been replaced by a sad, lethargic, withdrawn spirit that family, friends, and co-workers no longer recognize. You may even find that those who usually love and support you may begin to avoid you since they are at a loss to help.

how to get help for depression

How To Get Help for Depression

The good (bad) news is you certainly are not alone. Statistics reveal that every year millions of people are struggling with this debilitating condition. Even worse is the fact a whopping 80% of these people are not getting any help for depression.

This isn’t surprising when you consider how many parts of our society continue to hold negative attitudes toward mental illness. If you’ve ever been told by someone to just, “buck up,” you know how uninformed and unsympathetic many people can be toward someone dealing with depression.

Unfortunately, this ignorance and insensitivity can send you into a tailspin, making you believe you must be doing something to cause your distress.

Unfortunately, without treatment, this mental illness can spill over and impact your physical health and wellness as well. Medical experts are warning that depression lowers your immunity, leaving you susceptible to more serious illness.

Rather than seek medical treatment, many people attempt to ease their symptoms with quick, available methods like over-eating, drinking, smoking, or even, inappropriate sexual behavior. Not only do these activities invite further physical harm and personal risk, but the temporary comfort is usually replaced by guilt and self-loathing, which can only be alleviated with more of this type of dysfunctional behavior.

Before you know it a dangerous downward spiral has been created which can be difficult to pull out of. Some people spiral so far down they, mistakenly, believe suicide is the only way out.

Fortunately, you CAN get help with depression. It may be helpful to, first, make sure you are dealing with clinically diagnosed depression rather than just a short-term “slump” in your life. Medical experts have identified the following symptoms which usually persist beyond two weeks in people who are depressed.
  • you feel sad, empty, and ready to cry at the slightest provocation
  • you feel worthless and, inappropriately, guilty
  • you can’t concentrate and have difficulty making decisions
  • you have difficulty accomplishing tasks that were once easy
  • you feel helpless and hopeless
  • you lose interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • you can’t control negative thoughts, no matter how hard you try
  • you either have no appetite or you can’t stop eating
  • you sleep too much or can’t sleep at all
  • you feel tired, wiped out, and have no energy
  • you are much more short-tempered and irritable than normal
  • you have suicidal thoughts (Seek immediate help if this is the case)
As you can see, suffering from depression can easily make daily life unbearable, draining, and a struggle. Seeking help is one of the healthiest and most productive things you can do to get your life back.

You can start by simply picking up the phone and making an appointment with your doctor. Talking to someone with a sympathetic, knowledgeable ear can make all the difference in helping you realize there is hope.

There is also online help available (text/audio/video chat and/or messaging) if you face difficulties finding any doctor or prefer it over visiting physically.  

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Knowledge is power.” Well, you can also educate yourself about what you and millions of others are dealing with. Education has a way of focusing a light on a dark place, making it less threatening and easier to move through. It is also critical that your condition is properly identified and diagnosed. Solving any problem first requires acknowledging that it exists. The important thing to remember is you have many options for getting the help you deserve.

What to do if you are in depression

Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to understand the difficulty associated with finding solutions for how to deal with depression. First of all, you’re not even certain you are depressed. All you know is that you seem to be constantly drained of all energy, making the simplest tasks seem impossible. This fatigue can get so bad all you want to do is stay in bed, which can be even more disheartening when you have tons of things to do and responsibilities to meet.

Second, you’re not thinking clearly. It is difficult to concentrate and make decisions. Simple tasks like reading can become frustrating as you find yourself reading and re-reading the same paragraph over and over. Driving in heavy traffic where you have to be extremely alert and make instant decisions can leave you in cold sweat.

Even if you come up with a plan to do something about your condition, negative thoughts can creep in and sabotage you before you even get started, because you think, “What’s the point.”

But make no mistake about it! There definitely is a point. Your health and well-being are at stake, not to mention your ability to work and have healthy relationships with friends and family. These aspects of your life are important if you want to enjoy satisfying life experiences.

As difficult as it may seem, it’s critical to seek help. If left untreated, your condition has the potential to deteriorate to the point where you see no way out.

If you can’t bring yourself to call your doctor, you can ask a friend or relative to make the call for you. The people closest to you are often more than happy to help you out.

And if you prefer you may take the help of an online therapist as well.

Once you schedule an appointment you may find yourself thinking you can’t get yourself to the doctor’s office. If this happens you can ask for help again. You must get to the doctor so you can receive a thorough examination, diagnosis, and a customized program of treatment.

Understand that you didn’t become depressed overnight. As such, just be aware that any treatment program, based on either drug and/or behavioral therapy, takes a little time before you begin to see a lifting of your symptoms.

If you find yourself becoming discouraged because you don’t seem to be feeling any better, there are some effective steps for dealing with depression you can take during this time which can make your experience a little more bearable while you wait for your therapies to kick in.

One of the most important first steps is to make sure you are as gentle and kind to yourself as possible. Now is not the time to put undue pressure on yourself to “snap out of it, ” or criticize yourself if you don’t see immediate improvements. If your thoughts become negative and self-blaming, just remind yourself that you have a recognized medical condition that is disrupting your normal emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

In short, it’s not your fault.

Try to get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s just to the mailbox. A short, brisk walk can do wonders for your mind and body. The vitamin D that you get from the sun also helps to stimulate and support healthy brain chemistry. When all the connections in your brain are operating at optimum levels, your spirits begin to lift and you feel better.

This next step may not be as easy, but it is, nevertheless, important. Make an effort to accept invitations to social events like dinner, movies, or get-togethers with friends, etc. These diversions can help take your mind off your discomfort, even if only for a little while. Enjoyable activities also help to stimulate the brain and keep mood-stabilizing chemicals active.

Being kind to yourself also means doing only what you can, when you can. The suggestions above are just that... suggestions. Give yourself credit for making the effort, against difficult circumstances, to improve your situation. If there are some things you just can’t bring yourself to do, tell yourself, “It’s ok.” You can always try again tomorrow.

Steps to Getting Help with Depression

If you need help with depression, taking steps to find solutions can seem like more than you have the energy for. After all, when you’re depressed, you oftentimes, feel exhausted and defeated before you even try to make a move. But finding help is well worth the effort.

It all starts with a simple phone call to your doctor. If picking up the phone seems too difficult, ask a friend or loved one to make the call on your behalf. Once you’re seen by a trained medical expert who can prescribe the appropriate treatment (medication and/or therapy) you’ll be well on your way to reclaiming a happy, productive, fulfilling life.

There are other steps you can take, in the meantime, which can ease the severity of your symptoms and get the momentum of your recovery moving during the time your medication is working to take effect. These steps are aimed at being kind and gentle with yourself so that you don’t experience any additional stress and discomfort:
  • Don’t blame yourself for how you feel. Acknowledge that you have a physical condition that is hurting your mental, emotional, and physical states.
  • Don’t try to “go it alone.” Share your thoughts and feelings with someone who cares. You’ll be surprised how compassionate people can be.
  • If it’s necessary to complete a large task, break it into smaller, more manageable tasks. Do these smaller tasks in order of importance and only work when, and as long, as you feel up to it.
  • Be easy on yourself. Depression isn’t a condition you can just “snap out” of. After you get help for depression allow yourself plenty of time to start feeling better. Having high expectations that aren’t immediately met can reinforce feelings of failure.
  • Just because you’re depressed doesn’t mean you have to put your sense of humor in storage. The human experience is inherently funny. So try to find something to laugh at.
  • Try to engage in mild physical activities. Even a short, brisk walk can do wonders for your state of mind and body.
Don’t feel obligated to do all the steps above. Pick out one or two and give them your best shot. Remember, you’re not being graded. You are just trying to feel better. Even if you’re not able to take any of these steps, at the very least, make an effort to get help for depression from a professional. This will be your best bet for getting the relief you seek.

How to Treat Depression

Discovering how to treat depression begins with a visit to your doctor or healthcare professional. This is one of the most important steps you can take. You must first receive a confirmed diagnosis before you explore treatment options.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions or express your uncertainty or discomfort with any option you’re presented with. It may be helpful to have a friend or loved one accompany you to help communicate your concerns if you’re not feeling up to it.

It’s important that you feel “heard” and understood by your doctor. Your recovery is critical and you’re entitled to a thorough consultation before beginning treatment. If you are not happy with the attention you receive, don’t hesitate to look for another medical professional. Taking responsibility for your well-being can help you feel empowered.

Your doctor should present you with several alternatives for how to treat depression. Here are some of the most commonly prescribed treatments for depression:


You may recall when Prozac was THE big thing in treating depression. Fortunately, after many years and continued advancements, newer, more effective medicines have been developed to help people alleviate their symptoms.

When you’re discussing alternatives with your doctor for how to treat depression, you’re likely to hear names like Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin. These are, by no means, the only medications available to you. However, not every medicine works the same for every person. You may find that you have to try one or two different prescriptions before hitting on the one that works the best with your specific brain chemistry.

It’s also important that your doctor be clear about the side effects that come with taking these medications. Many of these side effects go away after a short period, and not everyone experiences them. That being said, if the medication is something you’re unable to tolerate at any level, let your doctor know immediately.

Talk Therapy

Many doctors recommend teaming up drug therapy with talking therapy. Experts have found that being able to talk about your experiences with depression with a trained mental health professional significantly contributes to the speed and success of recovery. There’s something about giving a voice to what you are going through that can help reduce its severity.

Online therapy

As we navigate the various avenues for managing depression, it's crucial to explore options that resonate with our individual preferences and needs. Beyond the traditional approaches of drug therapy and talk therapy, online therapy emerges as a promising alternative. Numerous studies affirm the effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating depression, showing comparable outcomes to face-to-face therapy.

Explore a comprehensive online therapy platform for individual and couples therapy, live sessions, and more. It's convenient, private, and affordable. Take charge of your mental well-being today. Check out this article → A Guide to Transformative Online Therapy.

Lifestyle Changes

Your doctor may recommend making simple changes to your lifestyle. Even small, positive changes in diet, exercise, and social activities can add to the success and speed of your recovery. One of the most important effects these activities have is a boost in your brain chemistry. With elevated levels of these substances working in your brain, you're likely to experience a lift in your spirits.

Implementing these changes can be made easier with the help and support of friends and family. People who love you tend to be invested in your health and well-being. As such, you will probably find that they’re happy to help.

As you can see, you have a wide range of choices when it comes to how to treat depression. Be sure to discuss all of these with your doctor so he can put together the best course of treatment for your situation.


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