When facing Depression, people respond differently. It is natural to try to use your own resources to cope. Exercise more, eat wholesome foods, get enough sleep, take some vitamins, think positively — these are all good things to do. However, when fighting true Depression, these good-for-you activities feel impossible. People describe “being in a fog” or seeing “everything out of focus”. Most also explain that everyday activities are much more difficult and that they must force themselves to even do basic things like shower, eat, and go to work.
Sometimes when I participate in discussions about Depression one or two people will comment that they “hate taking drugs”, don’t want to “feel like a zombie” or believe that people should “tough it out”. I’m not a fan of taking a prescription pill for every ache and pain, but I know there is a point at which prescription medication is absolutely necessary as part of a holistic treatment plan for Depression. Anti-depressants should not be used in isolation. If you have been prescribed an anti-depressant for Depression, the next step is to find a qualified therapist who can help you rebuild your coping strategies, learn new skills to develop resiliency to future bouts of Depression, and create accountability for your action plan.
Every 13 minutes, someone dies by suicide. The end result of untreated Depression is almost always suicide. If not treated successfully, the hopelessness and helplessness that characterizes Depression leads to one inescapable conclusion: that life is not worth living. Suicides happen even to the strong.
Please, if you are struggling with Depression, get help. Don’t be afraid to seek medical and psychological treatment. Please, don’t ever think you are weak by seeking help. The combination of medication and therapy has the best track record for successfully treating Depression into remission. It’s never “stupid” to ask for help. Sometimes the strongest and smartest thing you can do is reach out. If you are feeling so hopeless that you think you might hurt yourself or take your own life, call 1-800-273-8255 or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Someone will always be there to help.