According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the most disabling diseases in the world. However, with treatment, 70 percent of the reported cases of depression can improve in a matter of weeks. While this may seem a bright and promising picture — the downside is about two-thirds of depression victims are reported avoiding treatment and expert counseling on how to get through their problem.
This has brought devastating consequences such as broken marriages, work absenteeism, personal suffering, health problems, and in some extreme cases death.
The question which needs to be addressed is – what keeps depression victims from seeking professional and medical help? Discussed below are the top five reasons why this often happens:
It Will Pass with Time
This has been the perception in some of the people suffering from depression. The truth is clinical depression is not the same as Monday blues, which pass with time. The reason why depression may linger indefinitely, if not addressed, is because its root cause may be biological in nature and therefore requiring treatment for it to heal.
If you simply wait for depression to pass, you may be giving yourself away to a severe form of depression, which may prove difficult to control and more likely to recur if treatment is stopped. Experts advise not to allow depression to linger; rather, the affected person should speak to a therapist and seek treatment immediately.
The Fear or Dislike of Antidepressants
The notion depressed people have is treatment involves taking of antidepressants for the rest of their lives. Even though antidepressants have been found to reduce depression to a large extent, medication is not the only treatment for depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy has taken over from most traditional forms of treatment and has shown to be effective in reducing or even eliminating depression. This therapy, which is nowadays offered conveniently by online therapists, focuses on the present and helping the victim re-evaluate his or her thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Since we live in an era where information is available almost everywhere, cases of self-diagnosis not only for depression, but also other conditions have increased tremendously. It’s not always that depression will show itself in black and white. There is a form of depression known as masked depression where the victim experiences a combination of symptoms including sleeping problems, muscle pain, or fatigue which may be accompanied by sadness or not. Not knowing that these are signs of depression, most people misdiagnose them for other conditions and therefore don’t seek help for depression.
Embarrassment in Opening Up to a Practitioner
The shame which comes for some with a mental health problem such as depression can keep the victims from disclosing their suffering to others and from seeking professional help. However, experts say depression is nothing to be embarrassed about because it is a medical condition like any other. Research reveals about 19 million people in the United States suffer from depressive disorders every year irrespective of sexuality, gender, age, religion, race, or education. This means the practitioners you fear have seen it all and your case won’t be the first one for them. If you feel uncomfortable holding a face-to-face discussion with a therapist, you can opt for online therapists whom you can access via the Internet.
Fear of Discussing Painful Subjects
People suffering from depression try to keep away from psychological pain or probing examinations of their painful past. For this reason, they avoid treatment, which is meant to help lift them out of their condition. Psychologists and psychiatrists endorse the process of getting into painful discussions if complete healing is to be achieved. Therapists are trained and understand how to guide you through the process in a gentle and gradual manner.
Instead of suffering the symptoms of depression, seriously consider looking for a therapist and preferably online therapist because of the cost, convenience, and privacy aspect. Engage the therapist in a discussion and ask all the questions you have before therapy begins. You will realize most, if not all, the fears you have are unfounded.
The Virtual Therapist Network has brought together a wide range of professional therapists who are trained and experienced in depression and can help without you ever having to leave your home.
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