For those struggling with depression, it may be challenging to seek support from others. Depression often deprives people of motivation, making it difficult to take that first step. Asking for help also requires people to put away their pride and admit that they’re struggling. It’s a humbling experience, and it may feel especially scary if you’re dealing with mental health issues for the first time. It’s tempting to procrastinate on starting treatment for these reasons, but mental health treatment can be life-changing.
Even if you don’t consider yourself at your lowest point, you may not have the skills to manage your mental health. Mental health treatments like counseling teach self-care and help you better understand your emotions. Professionals can share objective opinions on your difficulties and give you tips on how to improve. This is valuable feedback that can be hard to receive in social groups.
While you’re considering seeking treatment for your depression, it’s critical to look past the scary parts. Here are three reasons why you would benefit from getting treatment sooner rather than later.
1. It Can Get Worse
It may be true for some that “time heals,” but if you’re struggling with depression, that may not be the case. The longer you sit with the condition, the more natural it will become to you. Letting yourself feel this way also opens the door to adopting bad habits as coping mechanisms. Isolating yourself, for example, may not be a big deal for the first week or so. But if it continues for an extended period, it can be detrimental to relationships.
Seeking treatment may feel unnecessary while you’re still stable, but you don’t need to be at rock bottom to benefit from it. If you do hit a low point before seeking treatment, it will be more tempting to use unhealthy coping methods. This can be dangerous if you’re vulnerable to self-harm or addiction.
Keep in mind that treating your mental illness is easier when you’re not at your nadir. You can use your remaining mental energies to address your depression before life becomes more difficult. Resources like therapy or mental health rehab teach you appropriate coping strategies and how to navigate those lows in life. Asking for help now can prevent you from aggravating your symptoms later through self-medication and other harmful responses.
2. It’s Holding You Back
Depression can creep in slowly, and it’s not always noticeable how it’s affecting you. It can start to hold you back in other areas of life after weeks or months of struggling. If your depression prevents you from exercising or eating well, then it might affect your physical health long-term. Depression can also decrease your motivation at work, making it difficult to reach goals and expectations in your career. Relationships can suffer when depression causes you to shun social interaction and isolate yourself.
For those experiencing this illness, it may be hard to recall life before depression. It’s important to remember that your life can get better and that there are positives in healing. If you’re struggling to think positively about the future, it could be the depression talking. Mental illness can make it challenging to picture how your life can be different. In reality, you will gain energy and motivation to set future goals by tackling your depression head on.
Although depression may have you feeling like there is no point, your struggle doesn’t have to be permanent. Starting your journey to relief will improve your motivation and confidence in daily life. With appropriate treatment, your depression will no longer keep you from living the life you deserve.
3. It May Be a Symptom
While it’s not uncommon to experience depression without a clear cause, many experience it in response to life events. Grief and past trauma are two major causes of depression, and it takes time to navigate these issues. Speaking to a therapist may help you discover what’s causing and prolonging your sadness. Taking a deeper look at your past gives you insight on your emotions, making it easier to overcome your depression.
Even if your depression isn’t situational, getting treatment is also your key to learning more about your health. For some, depression is caused by particular genetic factors and may therefore be inherited. Certain disorders and other illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and hormonal conditions, can cause depression on their own.
You can get at the root of the problem and its relation to your biology by working with a health professional. Advocating for your own health is rewarding, and discovering your physical issues can enable you to make progress in your healing.
The underlying problems you may be experiencing are the ultimate reason why your depression shouldn’t be ignored. Examining your biology and personal history with professionals will help you find a reason for your depression. It will also ensure that the treatment you are receiving is appropriate for your biological makeup.
There is no good reason to let yourself sit in darkness. You don’t have to reach a certain level of depression to “deserve” care. Regardless of how long you’ve been struggling, you have every right to feel better. By seeking support now, you will prevent your depression from getting worse, learn more about yourself, and get your life on the right track.