It can be really difficult to ask for help and sadly it can be easy to minimise problems and feel ashamed to ask for help; people’s judgements make it more difficult. It’s incredibly easy to dismiss people when they’re describing an experience you simply do not have. What’s more, the fact that society can tend to dismiss, belittle, or ignore serious problems with depression means that getting help for depression can seem like an impossible task.
For those who already know they have depression, society’s treatment of the problem could lead them to presume that no help will ever come or that people won’t understand, that it’s hopeless and to feel like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Given that they’re already struggling with feeling as if the world would be better off if they didn’t exist, that can lead fairly dark places rather quickly.
And for those who have not yet been diagnosed with depression, but fear they may have symptoms, society’s treatment of the issue could very well lead them to never seek the help they need. They may be able to get along in every day life, but it will always be a struggle. And if they’d gotten the help they needed, they may have done a lot better throughout their lives.
But for those of you who find it difficult to understand depression read on…
Why Are So Many People Depressed These Days?
One of the more common dismissals of depression is that people didn’t used to have problems with depression. Discussions of depression never came up, and it’s only been recently, that depression has become such a problem.
There are two parts to this. One is that it only seems as though there’s a problem with depression “all of a sudden”. The real truth is that throughout history, people with mental illness were cast out of society, left to beg in the streets or locked up in mental institutions that were little better than torture. Even as recently as the 1960s, electro-shock treatment was still used to treat depression. In our current society we have more information and knowledge to help and treat these conditions rather than only to judge and dismiss.
With that kind of “treatment”, no wonder people didn’t admit to having problems!
The other issue is that depression and anxiety is legitimately getting worse. Studies have indicated that people in society is responding to so much panic all around them. There’s the political and economic panic, of course, but there’s more to it than that. For at least 50 years, if not longer, businesses have been marketing their products by instilling fear in people. If you don’t have their product, your life could suddenly become terrible! If your clothes don’t look right, you could lose out on all your job prospects!
If any of those things sound familiar, then you may understand how a person who grew up with that all around them all the time might have a constant, low-level amount of anxiety and depression!
This is why getting depression help is so important. Society itself is against people, due to the way things are sold and marketed in today’s world. It can be hard to find solace or comfort in a world that is quite materialistic. You have to be constantly on the move. And you never get the chance to just sit, collect yourself, and try to figure out what’s wrong.
Natural Remedies Are Better Than Drugs
Another common refrain against getting depression help is that natural remedies, such as getting enough exercise, eating a better diet, and spending time doing relaxing things, can do much more to help depression than simply taking drugs. Drugs, people say, are nothing more than an unnecessary crutch. The real underlying problem is whatever thing they’ve decided the real, underlying problem actually is.
Aside from this being wrong because people who say this are rarely trained medical professionals, it’s wrong because it denies the very nature of depression. Depression isn’t just a matter of feeling bad or upset. Depression means being so low on energy that even doing the tiniest thing seems like a massive undertaking. Something as simple as taking a shower, eating anything at all, or even getting dressed in the morning becomes a near Herculean feat when one suffers from severe depression. Medication in these situations can be part of the helpful treatment plan.
So when people say “just get some exercise/go out in nature/do something you enjoy”, what they’re essentially saying is “if you just act like you don’t have depression, you won’t have depression”. As you might imagine, this is completely useless advice to anyone who actually suffers from depression.
Talk To Medical Professionals
At the end of the day, no one can decide whether or not you have depression other than you and your doctor. But because society is prone to not understanding mental illness, and can judge people for trying to get help, many people don’t trust their doctors. It doesn’t help that people make all manner of claims about “big pharma” or any other anti-psychiatric drug excuse they can come up with.
But a psychologist and a psychiatrist are trained to identify mental illness, and to help you find the tools you need in order to deal with it. So don’t suffer. If you’ve noticed depression-like symptoms in yourself, talk to a trained medical professional. Otherwise, you may be suffering more than you need to.